Talk:Rudolf Steiner/Archive 3

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Restarting the clean-up[edit]

Thatcher131's guidelines are clear and resolve some of the confusions about allowed sources and how they can be used here. So I think the next step is to remove all footnotes to Steiner companies' publishers. ALL. And replace them with fact tags. No more junk references should be added. No original research. And only add a source if it is used accurately. By that I mean no more sources added to verify a claim here that reads the moon is made of cheese if the source actually says the moon is a white onion. Sound like a plan? I also think we need more consensus before editing text, and not trial-by-fire edits in the article itself by brute forcing them through an edit war. Venado 21:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't quite agree with the description by Thatcher131 of the meaning of the Arbitration decision:
"I also notice that these articles, despite the article probation, rely heavily on anthroposophy-published documents as sources, in spite of the arbitration ruling determining that they should be removed."
The point describing the principle to be applied for Verifiability in the Final decision, that in the main seems to be written with regard to the artcle on Waldorf education, says:
"Information may be included in articles if they can be verified by reference to reliable sources. As applied to this matter, except with respect to information which is not controversial, material published in Anthroposophy related publications, especially by persons deeply involved in the movement such as teachers or theoreticians, are considered self published and thus not reliable sources."
As far as I see, that means that for information that (on some unspecified ground) is to be considered controversial, material published in Anthroposophy related publications are to be considered self published, and thus not reliable. But as far as I see, it also says that
with respect to information which is not controversial in the Waldorf and Anthroposophy related articles, material published in Anthroposophy or Waldorf related publications are to be considered reliable.
The not clearified issue is what is to be considered "controversial" in the article. This, as far as I see, is a complex issue, not easy to immediately sort out, and cannot be considered to be determined by one person simply stating "this is controversial", or that a fact tag on one or other point would make it controversial, in the sense that it cannot be cited using a Waldorf related source. Much can and is not controversial in any other sense than that it is not yet referenced with a citation.
There are two points that I think can be considered controversial in the articles. One is the alleged "racism" issue. The other is whether anthroposophy should be described as a spiritual or a religious philosophy.
On the second point, ideologically based sources, like ideological atheist and ideological skeptical sources are not to be considered reliable and acceptible, for a similar reason that articles published by people who have held or hold offices in such organizations, on an ideological basis opposed to anthroposophy are not to be considered reliable sources. See Arbitration Workshop on the issue:
"In a similar way as for works on controversial issues with regard to Waldorf education, published by anthroposophical or Waldorf publishers, I would also suggest that authors, who have worked actively in a public capacity in organizations, on an ideological basis strongly critical of Waldorf education and anthroposophy, be considered as unreliable sources with regard to controversial issues in relation to Waldorf education and anthroposophy. Thebee 23:26, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Mr. Bauder:
"Of course Fred Bauder 18:32, 15 December 2006 (UTC)"
Also, as far as I understand, nothing in the Arbitration decision indicates that that part of the WP:NOR policy should not be applied in this case, that says:
"... research that consists of collecting and organizing information from existing primary and/or secondary sources is, of course, strongly encouraged. All articles on Wikipedia should be based on information collected from published primary and secondary sources. This is not "original research"; it is "source-based research", and it is fundamental to writing an encyclopedia."
As far as I see, that would mean that with regard to works by Rudolf Steiner (many of them published on the net), they constitute a primary source on him, and descriptions of what he wrote, based on them, constitutes "source-based research", fundamental to writing an encyclopedia, as long as it does not violate one of the seven specific criteria with which Wikipedia describes and defines "original research".
According to WP:NOR, an edit counts as original research if it does any of the following:
  • It introduces a theory or method of solution;
  • It introduces original ideas;
  • It defines new terms;
  • It provides or presumes new definitions of pre-existing terms;
  • It introduces an argument, without citing a reputable source for that argument, that purports to refute or support another idea, theory, argument, or position;
  • It introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source;
  • It introduces or uses neologisms, without attributing the neologism to a reputable source.
Only if source-based research describing Steiner's views of something violates one of these seven criteria does it constitute Original Research in a sense prohibited to publish in articles.
How to attain that reasonable goal?
And does anything in the arbitration contradicts the above analysis?
Thathcher131 makes some comments on this in a discussion. He writes on one specific point in the WP:NOR policy:
"Well, this part of WP:NOR also applies. There is some tension between "source-based research" and "drawing novel conclusions from primary sources." When in doubt, use reliable secondary sources. So for example, claims regarding racism being controversial, you can't use Waldorf sources to show that Waldorf is/was racist/anti-racist."
I think this points to that the problem is more complex that indicated with Thatcher's first description above.
With regard to the McDermott article in the Waldorf Research Bulletin, it was an article, originating in a talk for some minutes at the school with some visitors from Europe, possibly Holland, that has colonial tradition in Africa, in a way different from many other European countries, in a way that also is reflected in part in the Waldorf movement there. Based on that discussion for some minutes, McDermott and Ida Oberman then wrote an article, containing some reflexions about the potential danger of using some Steiner material in a sweeping way, that does not penetrate the issue as discussed both in that specific and in other works beynd the surface. It also gives a short, not penetrated quote from one lecture, and an article published in a Dutch magazine.
To raise that article, published in a Waldorf journal to the level of a "Waldorf study", having the character of an independent "Research Bulletin", based on a misunderstanding of its description here, that tells that the article was published IN "Research Bulletin, The Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 1(2): June 1996.", not that it IS a research bulletin, stands out as pushing its description far beyond ita actual nature, to distance the article as much as possible from its source and raise it to a level of an "independent study", that it does not have, to be able to use and quote it extensively not only in this article, but also, as a duplicate in the article on Waldorf education (while on the other hand working to reduce and delete material found in this article, that is also found in other articles, something that stands out as an application of different, double standards by Pete K for what he wants to push for, and what he does not like.)
Thebee 22:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
After writing the above, I see that I already wrote part of it a week ago, but not all of it. With regard to what is to be considered controversial with regard to Steiner's own works, that is a probably much more complicated problem to judge, than with regard to Waldorf education, that is a practical activity, being a new level of reality, that needs other, external sources to describe as such. With regard to Waldorf education, how it actually is practiced cannot only be described using theoretical works. That needs empirical descriptions, as systematical as possible, preferably non-anthroposophical sources, and only such sources can be used with regard to controversial issues.
With regard to Steiner's own works, they are a reality in themselves, directly accessible in large part to everyone on the net. To state that they only should be possible to describe as such using secondary sources, is untrue. The problem is how to decide if directly source-based research describing them constitutes original research in one of the seven senses defined by Wikipedia. How to handle this in a reasonable way, true to the spirit of Wikipedia? And do there exist developed procedures to handle this type of problem at Wikipedia? Thebee 22:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The problem is, as valid as your points may be, it's still not workable when there are two opposing camps of inflexible editors. Here's why.
    1. Editors here will continue to "shop" advice from arbitrators until they get the answer their looking for on a case-by-case basis, or will refuse to concede to decisions offered, like this above, when the answer given isn't what they were looking for.
    2. Editors will not agree about what is or isn't a controversy. This has already happened we know from all the fact tags added on facts that may not be controversial to some editors but other editors disagree. A source is need if it is questioned. Anything that is fact tagged in this article automatically becomes a controversy, so anything with a reference tag automatically falls under the scope. If it isn't disputed, don't give a reference. If somebody disputes it afterwards, get one that's independently published.
Both problems will lead to more warring. We need to take a path that ends this warring. If the fact is noteworthy enough for mention in the articles at wikipedia, then some secondary source, somewhere, will have written about it too. Just find those sources. Let them do the assessment from the primary material, and use it as verification. Mostly we don't need the Steiner publishers. This article will just have to leave behind the more obscure facts that are only addressed in Steiner publishers, concentrate on the more commonly written about facts. Venado 01:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Venado. I have taken the risky step of removing ALL Anthroposophical references from the Waldorf Education article (including ones that support my views). We should have started like this from the beginning as it was a directive from the ArbCom. Now, it is up to us all to support what is being said, or change it according to the what the actual references say. This should make life easier, I hope. I would like to also say that I would love it if we could make some extra effort to locate souces that are searchable on-line, if possible (I understand that won't always be possible) to assist others in verification. The wilder the claim, the better (and the more available) the source should be. Pete K 16:43, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Last chance[edit]

I have blocked Pete K and Hgilbert each for 24 hours for edit warring on Waldorf education. The next time these articles are disrupted by edit warring I will fully protect them and no one will be able to edit at all. In order to edit the article you will have to agree on the edit and then put the {{edit protected}} template on the talk page to get an admin to do it for you (assuming you can agree on anything).

I also notice that these articles, despite the article probation, rely heavily on anthroposophy-published documents as sources, in spite of the arbitration ruling determining that they should be removed. Documents originating with anthroposophy, the Waldorf foundation, or Rudolph Stiener are not acceptable as sources either for claims that Waldorf is good, or for claims that Waldorf is bad. Things ranging from the complex (whether Steiner was racist) to the simple (whether Waldorf schools discourage parental communication) can not be sourced to primary documents. They are not considered reliable sources for several reasons. Generally if you are using Waldorf materials to describe the benefits etc., you run afoul of the self-serving limits of the reliable source policy, and if you are citing Waldorf documents to "prove" they have problems, you are violating the "interpreting primary sources to draw a conclusion is original research" limitation.

If you think that reopening the arbitration case will get the other editors banned but leave you safe, I can almost guarantee you are wrong. Clean up these articles. Get the Waldorf sources and all the original research, conclusions and personal experiences out. Rely on what independent third parties have published in reliable sources, and if they haven't published anything about a topic, take it out. Trust me, you do not want the case reopened. Thatcher131 02:59, Date Jan 12, 07 (UTC)

See discussion and comment on this at Talk page of another article.

Thebee 16:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Reception by non-anthroposophists[edit]

Checking the citations here, I found that the quotes were drawn from a single source (Falk), but that there were actually quotes about Steiner from four different people. Oddly enough, the two negative ones had been included in the article but not the two positive ones. All four are now included for a balanced representation Hgilbert 11:02, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I think we'll have to discuss how to format this section; it could grow pretty extensive, as many prominent figures have commented on Steiner. Hgilbert 14:08, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

How about leaving it at two positive and two negative and deleting the larger "Reception of Steiner" section which is basically reception by Anthroposophists anyway? We all know Anthroposophists received Steiner - otherwise they would have chosen a different religion. Pete K 17:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, the majority of the "Reception of Steiner" section remains unreferenced. I think the two and two quote idea is a good one. Shall I make the change? Pete K 02:10, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
No. Thebee 10:12, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to hear from someone who ISN'T pushing a POV. In the mean time, I think the section is at least more balanced without the two new additional quotes. It would be fine with me if we delete those. The uncited sections need to come out anyway so that's a good place to start. I'll go ahead and do this. Pete K 12:52, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
The citation "Uwe Werner, Anthroposophen in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, Munich 1999, p. 8" is another one of those obscure citations that supports unbelievable claims that are refuted by other evidence (including Steiner's own words). Does anyone have access to this material that can verify 1) it's existence and 2) the claims made by it? This article seems to reference the article and refutes what is claimed in Werner's article. In any case, this Anthroposophical source is not a valid source to support the mysterious claim made in the Wikipedia article: "Given Steiner's clear statements about political democracy being the proper kind of State for humanity, his consistent and emphatic support for liberty and pluralism in education, religion, scientific opinion, the arts, and in the press, not to mention his rejection of the idea that the State should take over economic life - one cannot justly link Steiner or his movement with a totalitarian intent;[41] rather the reverse, for his whole philosophy is based upon individual freedom." I'll be removing that claim until some non-Antrhoposophical source is found that supports it. Pete K 13:07, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

and racism again[edit]

guys, you can't be left alone, we had this so much clearer, why do we have to go through this again: from the article:

When Steiner described what he believed to be the particular characteristics of races, ethnic groups, nations and other groupings of human beings, some of his characterizations are difficult to reconcile with his more general statements about the subordinate role race and ethnicity play in present-day humanity. Reactions to these characterizations vary widely: They have been termed racist by critics.[47][48][49][50][51] Other supporters see in Steiner's anthroposophy the "one viable path to overcoming racism" and, in the light of his larger views, relativize his particular characterizations as more or less successful attempts at anthropological distinctions.[52][53][54] In the 1930s and 40s, Nazi ideologues repeatedly investigated Steiner's ideas and found them absolutely incompatible with racist ideology.[55]

this makes it sound as if these characterisations ( for example africans are more emotional, whites are more intelectual) are seen by some as racist and by some as "one viable path to overcoming racism", and that the nazis looked at these found them not racist enough for them, but really, the only direct reactions to these characterisations mentioned here are the ones that say it is racist. everything else is refering to other things the doc said, or his general philosophy. i propose we move the supporter thing further up to the part where it said what a tough antiracist he was and leave the rest more clearly, he said some things that sound problematic and a lot of people find them racist. period trueblood 22:07, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Amen! Problem is, it does no good to correct this because someone else will come along and "soften" it again - forever. As it stands, there is no way ANYBODY can make sense of it - and I think that's intentional on the part of some editors. I support putting this material into some very plain terms. We lost the entire "Rudolf Steiner's Views on Race and Ethnicity" article some time ago, so now we are obligated to be clear here. Pete K 23:11, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

To be honest I think what is written in the article at the moment is quite clear and most importantly concise. It doesn't state that 'these characterizations' are seen by some as "one viable path to overcoming racism" but that Steiner's anthroposophy is seen by some as "one viable path to overcoming racism". This article should not be turned into an essay about Steiner's characterizations about different races and peoples responses to it; because respectively this is only a very small part of Steiner's work. Lkleinjans 15:47, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, no, it isn't a small part of Steiner's work, it is the foundation of Steiner's work which is basically an essay on the "evolution" of man and human consciousness in relation to the world of spirit. And no, you don't overcome racism by scaring pregnant mothers or through promoting ridiculous stereotypes and espousing pure racist nonsense that you attribute to spiritual truths - but hey, if some people like that path, that's fine. The word "viable" seems absurd here, BTW, but again, if that's someone's bag, fine. The section is about RACISM, however, not about how Steiner's ideas can be misconstrued to be something other than racism - so those kinds of discussions belong elsewhere. Pete K 17:32, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
um, i quote again: "Reactions to these characterizations vary widely:", and then three examples of reactions are given, two are actually not reactions to these particular steiner quotes, but to anthropop in general. this perceived or real racism has caused considerable stir at least in germany and holland, maybe also other countries, so it is notable. i don't want an essay, not even add much, but rather, um repeat myself just see above.

also i seriously doubt that the nazis found steiner's ideas incompatible with racist ideology in general, but rather assume that they found it incompatible with their particular racist ideology. to me equation nazis don't like steiner, therefore steiner=antiracist does not work. so can we delete that part; In the 1930s and 40s, Nazi ideologues repeatedly investigated Steiner's ideas and found them absolutely incompatible with racist ideology.[55] trueblood 18:22, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry Trueblood I see what you mean now. I agree with you. I would like to see the second bullet point stay though, but as a sentence separate from the statement "Reactions to these characterizations vary widely:". I also agree with deleting the Nazi statement. Lkleinjans 19:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

and i am sorry to have opened this can worms again, i did not even want to stir up this discussion below, i am happy with the changes made by Lkleinjans.

trueblood 11:53, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

"Race" issue minor in Steiner's works[edit]

Is "race" at it was understood 100 years ago central in the published works of Steiner?


Steiner developed his main work during the beginning of a period, from the end of the 19th century up to 1924 in a culture permeated with discussions of "race" and "races" in nature and in human contexts, as part of the developing understanding of evolution.

In spite of this dominance of thinking in terms of "race" at the time, only five of the approximately 3,000 published lectures he held during the period, on almost every imaginable issue, have the issue of what at the time was understood to be "the human races" as their main theme.

Following allegations of racism by a teacher at one Waldorf school in Holland some 10 years ago, a Dutch commission was initiated by the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands to investigate fully this issue. The commission reviewed in detail the 89,000 pages comprising Steiner's published works, mostly transcripts of lectures, and found in total 245 comments on the issue. The comments in question constitute on the order of 0.2% of his collected works.

The central focus of the commission was whether the publication of anything in the printed works by Steiner was in violation of present-day, sensitive Dutch legislation on discrimination.

While the commission came to the conclusion that that probably was not the case, it also concluded that 16 of the 245 comments by Steiner, if made today by someone in Holland as isolated statements in public, some 80-100 years after they actually were made and outside their original cultural and social context, would probably be deemed discriminatory according to present-day Dutch legislation. (Five of these 16 comments were made in 1923 during one ad hoc morning lecture to construction workers in answer to a question by one of the workers).

That's the totality of it.

Thebee 21:05, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

One would have to be incredibly naive to swallow this. Pete K 01:28, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Now that I'm turning my attention to this section again - I've deleted the following:

Supporters see in Steiner's anthroposophy the "one viable path to overcoming racism" and, in the light of his larger views, relativize his particular characterizations as more or less successful attempts at anthropological distinctions.
ref: Archiati, Pietro, Die Überwindung des Rassismus durch die Geisteswissenschaft Rudolf Steiners, ISBN 3-7235-0999-1

Source is unsearchable.

“Pietro Archiati was born in 1944 in Brescia, Italy. He studied philosophy and theology and worked for many years as a Catholic priest. Following a decisive encounter with the work of Rudolf Steiner in 1977, he worked as a teacher in a seminary in South Africa. Since 1987 he has worked independently as a freelance lecturer and author for a regeneration of humanity through a modern scientific awareness of spiritual beings and realities.”
[This] and [this] suggests he is an author excluded by the ArbCom anyway.
Info3 news report Rudolf Steiner recognized as opponent of anti-Semitism and nationalism April 1, 2000,

Source is unreliable - doesn't identify the make-up of the commission (e.g. ALL were members of the Anthroposophical Society). This commission's findings are NOT a valid source to support this controversial claim.

[Comments by independent reviewers cited in Peter Normann Waage, Humanism and Polemical Populism, 'Humanist' 3/2000 (organ of the Norwegian Human-Ethical Union)

Source is unreliable - and in fact laughable. It is easily refuted and we have plowed this field too many times already. These are not sources that can support a claim that Steiner's racism was somehow insignificant. Pete K 01:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Here is one response to Peter Normann Waage's article. Pete K 01:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it is important that this bit of the article stays as balanced as possible. Currently there is only links to views supporting that Steiner's teachings are racist. I agree with Pete K removing the first two references as I cannot verify those either. The third one which talks about the dutch commission is at least as valid those references describing Steiner and his teachings as racist. I checked out all the references and this is what I found:

No. 47 is a link to an article which was written by an unnamed person it appears as if anyone could add articles to this website. The arguments in this article are supported by bad or no evidence. I do not consider this a proper reference for Wikipedia
No. 48 is a link to a Swedish site
No. 49 is quite an interesting piece of research, it has not been published as far a I can see. I don't think it is accredited research.
No. 50 and 51 I don't understand how a transcription of a television program can be a reference, or validly support an argument.

I don't wish to start an edit war, so can the other editors please confirm with me that those references I listed are unacceptable and must therefore be removed. Lkleinjans 17:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The Dutch Commission report is not usable as a reference. It is a report produced by Anthroposophists. It might be good to check out the archives for discussion about this one. It is not a valid source. With regard to keeping this section of the article "balanced", I see no reason that balance should be sought on issues that have support for a "balanced" view. We could have "balance" by presenting two sets of opinions about whether the halocaust actually occurred, but that wouldn't be very responsible. In this case, we simply have Steiner's documented racist speech and Anthroposophists making excuses about why it shouldn't be considered racist, or that it wasn't racist because he said other things that weren't racist, or that he didn't know a stenographer was hiding behind the curtain, or he was talking to workers so that doesn't count, other nonsense that doesn't refute anything Steiner said or more importantly what he actually produced in Anthroposophy which is racist. We have nothing to refute Steiner's racism, only a lot of excuses. Like the halocaust, Steiner's racism is a fact, and excusing it (as the Dutch Commission tried to do) is no different than halocaust denial. It's simply people pushing an agenda that doesn't represent "balance" but rather a whitewash of the facts. Pete K 20:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I do not wish to go into this discussion, I do want to see proper references though and as mentioned above I don't think that the references given are appropriate for an encyclopedia. Do you understand my reasoning for wanting to remove those references? Lkleinjans 00:10, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

We don't use reasoning here. They're either approved sources or disapproved sources. These are approved sources. Pete K 01:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
me i just want some mention in some form that steiner said some things that are considered by most people as racist, it does not matter if they were a 'minor issue' in his work, for example if someone is famous for being an actor, it makes an antisemitic or racist statement in public today, it causes a stir, makes headlines thus is notable, even if the person is actually famous for being or doing something completely unrelated.
i also don't quite understand why the dutch commission was removed, it said that they were commissioned by the anthroprosophical society, and came to the conclusion, that steiner in general was not a racist, but said things that would have brought him in conflict with dutch antidiscrimination laws if he'd say them today. i think that is balanced and by itself a notable fact. there is no reason it should not be included.

trueblood 22:40, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

and lkleinjans just because you cannot read a ref does not mean you can remove it, i can read the german ones a i tell you they are correctly quoted, as for the ray dermott, would be a pity to remove that one. i don't follow your reasoning and don't agree to removing the sources, also the section spends 8 lines explaining how steiner could not possibly be a racist and then 3 lines that he said some things that people generally consider racist so what is your deal?trueblood 22:48, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
The objection to the Dutch Commission reference is that while it says they were "commissioned" by the AS, it doesn't inform the reader of the fact that the commission was composed entirely of Anthroposophists. There's a big difference between commissioning someone independent to do a study and conducting the study themselves. Huge! Pete K 15:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
well, then put that in too...trueblood 21:38, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I added the Dutch commission back in. I noted that it was commissioned by the Dutch AS. As far as I am aware it was carried out by professional lawyers (Dr. Th. A. Baarda and others), I don't know if he is an Anthroposophist. I have contacted him to try and find out what people were included in carrying out the research.

I withdraw my earlier request for removal of references 47-51. Lkleinjans 23:12, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, but we've already established that all the members of the committee were Anthroposophists. Is there some reason we need to keep plowing the same field? Please read through the archives before you insist on undoing what has already been agreed to. Thanks. Pete K 23:20, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Trueblood - the source, as such, is not acceptable. No reason to put it in AT ALL. It's no different than all the other Anthroposophical sources we are required to exclude. Pete K 23:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

We obviously have to plow through these references to ensure that they are acceptable according to the arbitration standards. On a controversial topic, the arbitrators have established a policy that neither anthroposophical nor polemical sources are acceptable. We need to hold to this. Hgilbert 23:57, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

They should make those decisions then - as a group. There's nothing polemical about pointing out that Steiner was a racist. The only polemical part is you insisting that he wasn't. Even your Dutch commission found racism. Why hide the truth? Pete K 00:10, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
That looks like a blog. The authors name is just "peter", and peter is not even capitalized. This is not a publication. Why are you still trying to ad back sources for controversial claims which were found on a blog? It has been made clear so many times that users can not use them. WP:Reliable_sources#Exceptional_claims_require_exceptional_sources Venado 01:01, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The author is Peter Staudenmaier. Look him up if you don't know who he is. He's an expert in this field and this particular article article can be found in several places on the web. He is already referenced in the article (unless HGilbert has removed any mention of him again). Pete K 01:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
The only copies I found of this were to other unallowed publishers. One of them said that only a "much shortened version" was published, which probably means that this long one wasnt ever published anywhere. Always this is the rule, not just for polemical sources: only references which have been published can be used, and no blogs. We have to remove this, it doesnt meet verifiability.Venado 01:40, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Here, let me help you... Three links to the article:

Related is his book:

And more works by Mr. Staudenmaier are listed here. The man is an expert in this field. Pete K 01:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The same information regarding Steiner is found in the other sources as well. Do whatever you like - I really don't care at this point. The truth about Steiner will not be permitted here anyway. Pete K 01:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and here is the staff of the "blog" as you call it. Pretty much all PhD's, but sadly, no Waldorf teachers. Not a polemical group at all, wouldn't you agree? It is incredible how this seems to work with you guys... really incredible. Pete K 01:50, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
None of those sites will be allowed either. They are considered self-published websites and these you show arent even the same article involved in this dispute. This is causing a lot of wasted time. I will take it out because it doesnt meet Wikipedia:Attribution#Using_questionable_or_self-published_sources. Venado 01:59, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, and don't forget to find reasons to remove the other citations so you can remove the content. Pete K 02:09, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Who put them there? This one looks like it is just a message board, not any published article. [6] This one, you know, was taken out of the Waldorf article because it is a waldorf publisher. [7] And Rick Ross website is another self published website. [8]. This article was left to the side while every body was fixing the Waldorf article so a lot of work still needs to be done. But its time to stop edit warring to keep unallowed references in.Venado 02:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
No, YOU, I believe, made the point that Waldorflibrary is a library, not a publisher, and that the source doesn't automatically excude the article. Now, because you don't like the content, the sources that were acceptable before are no longer acceptable. I'll allow you guys to distort the truth when you guys pry the mouse out of my cold, dead hand... (or ban me). Until that moment, I'll keep fighting for what I know is the truth and against what I know is nonsense. Steiner was a racist. Everything he ever said supports this if you go to the trouble of understanding it. Nothing will ever change this - and the only thing that can be done for people who support his ideology is to try to disguise it as best they can. It didn't work for the Dutch Commission, but if you guys get me kicked off Wikipedia, it may indeed work here for you for a short time. In the mean time, the sources you are excluding are PhD's that are experts on this subject - and there is NOTHING to suggest that Steiner wasn't a racist - NOTHING. So, knock yourself out - I'll keep at it until I'm gone (and it looks like you won't have too long to wait). Pete K 02:59, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
This article was published by a Waldorf publisher, not just housed in a Waldorf library. [9]. This is a list of articles published on social-ecology: [10]. It looks like a message board, not a publisher. And wikipedia is not a soapbox.Venado 03:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be a good source for information either if the PhD's that are experts on a subject are excluded (just because you don't like the look of their website) while we allow the editors of neighborhood newspapers (with NO knowledge on the subject) to be "legitimate" sources. If I need a soapbox, or a megaphone to make this point clear, then that's what I'll use. Nonsense is nonsense and YOU are the one making the wrong call here - and I'm not going to allow it if I can prevent it. Pete K 05:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Fresh Start at Steiner + Racism[edit]

I think the five references that are there now should stay. As mentioned by Trueblood above there is 8 lines arguing Steiner couldn't have been racist and 3 giving criticism on his characterizations. The reader who is willing to investigate the references can make up his/her own mind what he/she views as a valid reference. I hope you guys agree.

I also think that the dutch commission is a valid reference as long as it is stated that it was commissioned by and carried out by Anthroposophists (I had a reply from Dr Th. A. Baarda and he confirmed the research was carried out by Anthroposophists). Again readers can make up their own mind as to the validity of this report/reference. Cheers Lkleinjans 09:30, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

If everyone agrees, I'll ask Shadowbot to allow the dutch commission as a reference again. Lkleinjans 09:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I don't agree that the Dutch Commission should be used as a reference, just like halocaust deniers aren't allowed to state that the halocaust didn't happen. This is supposed to be a representation of the truth - not every twisted angle to obfuscate the truth. The Dutch Commission report is indeed a twisted angle and it's a 245 page report. If you're going to expect to include a summary, who gets to harvest the conclusion of that information? "The report concluded that Steiner unmistakably made racist statements that would have had him IMPRISONED if he made them today." Do you intend to word it that way? "Even a commission of Anthroposophists who excused hundreds of comments non-Anthroposophists would consider racist couldn't deny Steiner's racism." How about that wording? Is this going to be a truthful reference or is it going to be a smokescreen of an even bigger smokescreen? I've never experienced any group so intent on hiding the truth. Pete K 15:31, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Here, by comparison, is how Wikipedia treats halocaust denial:

Holocaust denial is the assertion that the Holocaust did not occur, or that far fewer than six million Jews were killed by the Nazis; that there never was a centrally planned attempt to exterminate the Jews; or that there were no mass killings at the extermination camps. Those who hold this position often claim that Jews or Zionists know that the Holocaust did not occur and are engaged in a conspiracy to further their political agenda. As the Holocaust is considered by historians to be one of the most documented events in recent history, these views are not accepted as credible, with organizations such as the American Historical Association stating that Holocaust denial is "at best, a form of academic fraud."[100] Public espousal of Holocaust denial is a crime in ten European countries, including France, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, and Germany.

There's no reason not to treat this subject in the same way. Steiner's position on race is just as obvious. Even the Dutch Commission of Anthroposophists couldn't excuse his statements. Pete K 15:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
i want the dutch commission mentioned not as a reference that steiner was not a racist but mention the fact that it was formed and to which conclusions it came (that some of steiner's remarks would bring him into conlict with dutch law but overall the commission did not detect racism). i find the commission notable, thus worth mentioning. if it is mentioned that it was an anthroposophical commission, everybody can make up his mind. stop hitler or holocaust comparisions pete, it's tasteless and pointless and we've been through it before, it does nothing than devalue your other arguments. it's propaganda. and please no sermon in response to this. let's keep it short.trueblood 16:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you look at the edit history - I started with a Christianity comparison, but people seem to find those tasteless when they come from me too <G>. It is not propaganda, in my view - simply a comparison. How would you propose adding the Dutch Commission report then? It is, indeed, a piece of history that should be revealed for it's absurdity. Even Anthroposophists are embarassed by this blatent attempt by the Dutch Anthroposophical Society to produce a biased report. I don't disagree that the report should be mentioned, but the findings need to be shown for what they are - a smokescreen. Wording this as if it were a valid study of Steiner's racism isn't going to work here. Showing it for what it was will. Pete K 16:13, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
There were (are) two rounds of arbitration on the anthropsophy related articles in the last few months. It is a rule at wikipedia always and also a ruling of the arbitration that, "Information may be included in articles if they can be verified by reference to reliable sources." The arbitration added a rule about anthroposophic sources: "Related articles contain large amounts of original research and information gathered from Anthroposophical related sources which are for verification purposes properly considered self-published by the Anthroposophy movement." And also this,"Editors of these articles are expected to remove all original research and other unverifiable information, including all controversial information sourced in Anthroposophy related publications." At one point an arbitrator explained "any polemical source is considered unreliable" which is true but calls for objective judgement whether a source is polemical or not and I dont think the involved and strongly divided editors are able to do that objectively.
This article has a long way to go to conform to these rules, but "views on race and ethnicity" section is just one starting place. And it does not conform at all. The first paragraph is completely conclusions drawn from primary sources which cannot be used in this fashion at wikipedia, especially in these articles after arbitration. It will not work to quote Steiner to get around this problem. All of that paragraph needs good second party sources. The Steiner sources have to be deleted. The second paragraph has five sources, and only one of them comes close to necessary criteria. One is anthroposophically published, two are message boards, and one is from a self-publish website. The transcript of any television show, which one of the sources is, isnt usually a good reference either, in my opinion. Television or radio on the whole are very unreliable. But I think it is o.k. in this case because it isnt a source of specific claims except it does show the existence of these critics.
So we cannot ad bad sources just to give balance or to give equal time. The articles at wikipedia are supposed to be encyclopedic, and need mostly sound, independent academic sources. I would like to know more background on this Dutch commission report. Who commissioned it? Who published it? Venado 16:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The Dutch commission report was commissioned by the Dutch Anthroposophical Society after large publicity in the Netherlands regarding Steiner and racism. The research was carried out by anthroposophists, but was chaired by an experienced lawyer, Dr. Th. A. Baarda (also an Anthroposophist), Phd in international law I believe. Please see Info3 news report. Basically the commission compared quotes of steiner against current Dutch law to find if any of that material, if published today, would be in breach of the dutch law and could therefore be taken to court. Lkleinjans 16:50, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Lkleinjans, you have added this back in and I dont think we are ready to accept it. Info3 is called an anthroposphy publication, and I suspect this is true because there is so much about Steiner on it. Am I wrong? If not, I repeat, the policies have to be followed strictly, we cannot decide amongst ourselves to ignore them on a case by case basis. The report is anthroposophy commissioned, written, published and prepared for anthroposophy audience. The conclusions of the report in info3 appear to me to be anthroposophy written and published also. It does not matter the qualifications of the people doing the investigation, it clearly doesnt qualify under the arbitration rules. We need Independent/not anthroposophy Published Sources. Venado 17:03, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion the Dutch Commission Report is quite important as a reference, because it is the response of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society to claims of extreme racism in its society. In this rapport it admits that some of the things its founder said are racist under the Dutch laws but that the general views of Steiner cannot be claimed to be Racist. This is the most in depth study of 'racism in Steiner's quotes' that I know of and therefore I think it should be included.

However I also agree that the policies laid down should be followed. Even though not using any anthroposophical sources while explaining anthroposophy and also discussing serious issues regarding anthroposophy gives a serious handicap. Lkleinjans 17:39, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
We have worked hard under these constraints and it has taken a month to get just one article in pretty good shape with independent sources. It is much harder, because there are a lot of anthropsophy published sources but they cant be used, and fewer independent sources especially for side issues like this. But the arbitrators have laid down the law and look like they will ban editors who refuse to follow it. These articles are on probation for this problem, and new editors are at a disadvantage. If you werent here while all this went down, its harder to catch up and understand the constraints in effect now on sources .Venado 18:35, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The Dutch Commission report is the EXACT equivalent of a Neo-Nazi party commissioning Neo-Nazis to study the halocaust - and that group of Neo-Nazis reporting back that yes, the halocaust happened but only 16 people were killed. Sorry to use this example again, but it's exactly what has happened here. A group of Steiner's own followers commissioning a group of Steiner's own followers to produce a report that draws outrageous conclusions. It is what it is. Pete K 23:33, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

i put back the dutch comission, it is not source on anything, surely not whether steiner was a racist or not, but a fact that is reported. bring better arguments than comparing anthroposophy to a neo-nazi party, and then afterwards talk about arbitration this and arbitration that. using cheap propaganda or talking mysteriously about the arbitration process to keep out newbies does just show that you have not changed anything. i thought one of the conclusion was that more new people should be brought into the articles. you still have not really said why the dutch comission should not be mentioned in the article.. don't tell we can't use anthro sources, it is not used as a source. okay info3 is an anthroposophical source, but is the fact that the comission was formed really disputed?

trueblood 07:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks - I'll take it out again. It is absolutely INSANE to suggest that only critics would question the validity of this report. The sentence tries to make the report sound legitimate - it was NOT. I'm sorry you don't care for my analogies, but that's not a reason to hide the nature of this material. It was Anthroposophists clearing their guru. Unless you have wording to that effect, expect me to remove it again. Pete K 15:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Disputes over racism discussion sources[edit]

I'd like to separate the discussions on each reference so the talk is less confused. Please focus on issues, not each other. Please do not fill the discussion with inflammatory exaggerations. It just wastes time and page space, and increase odds of edit conflicts.Venado 15:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I'm sure you would like to separate the discussions. THEY'RE RELATED. On the one hand, you want to exclude a source that has the complete text of the article referenced, and is posted on an unbiased site hosted by scholars on the exact subject of the article. On the other hand, you want to include a report for which the text is unavailable for review, written by authors who are KNOWN to be biased and that is from a biased website that is clearly not allowed. There's no question why you would want to separate these two issues - because the treatment of these issues together demonstrates clearly a bias to your POV. This CLEARLY demonstrates exactly what I have been talking about - an organized effort to distort the truth. Don't separate the issues - deal with them and the issue of intentionally introduced bias in these articles. Pete K 17:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Social Ecology[edit]

Please resume discussion about "Janus" article here.Venado 15:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The Institute for Social Ecology had a journal publication called "Harbinger".[11] Doesn't look like they still do. (Vol.3 No.1 appears to be the last, published in 2003). The website says that the Institute no longer has a campus or teaches classes, and that anew revised Institute is in process. They offered degrees in one area, "Social Ecology", which the site defined "a coherent radical critique of current social, political, and anti-ecological trends". The staff said its philosophy is a strain of the eco-anarchism movement. The staff called it an activist organization. These are probably some of the factors involved in the editor disputes over "polemical" source.

The "Janus" article was uploaded on the website by a user who only gave the name "peter". Pete_K says "peter" is "Peter Staudenmaier" who was one of the staff at the Institute, and considers the link [12] a "peer reviewed publication". But in every way, this article is different than the articles in the Institute's real publication, "Harbinger". It looks like a self-published message board upload. The author's name isn't given. It isn't professionally formatted. I couldn't find any signs the Institute's journal, Harbinger, published it. There is no evidence this was a peer reviewed published article. No details at all of the publication were given in Steiner article except the weblink, to the message board upload.

Full bibliographic description of it should be given if it was really published. All I found was note on another self publish website that a "much shortened version" was published in Norwegian "Humanist". But I can't find it online. I think this should be confirmed and read by somebody who reads Norwegian, because it probably is different than the longer English self published article. Then this article can probably use it as source if the article uses it accurate to the Humanist publishing. But wikipedia does not allow and it is not good quality in this kind of research to link to self published message board articles.

If this isn't possible, it shouldn't be that hard to find other publications to use instead. We are just causing more work for everybody to be so lazy to do work and find the right references. Adding bad ones because they are easy and fast to find wastes time in the long run.Venado 17:29, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Peter Staudenmaier's name appears on the article in several other places on the internet. I have provided the article with Mr. Staudenmaier's name on it for you to examine. Your position as to who wrote the article is not well taken. Neither is your guess as to what content may or may not have been removed in the condensed version. The Dutch Commission report isn't searchable on the internet either, BTW. None of your points make any sense. Pete K 18:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not disputing with you that he wrote it. I am disputing that any real "peer reviewed" publisher would publish an article giving nothing but the author's "first name" (in all lower case letters) to identify authorship. No legitimate peer review publication would publish like that. Thats one big clue right there, which you are playing down as "deciding if a source is good on how it looks". Well, yah, thats one reason it does not look right. Peer reviewed publications dont expect readers to guess the name who wrote the article they are publishing. The link you are giving is not a peer review publication, it was uploaded to a message board by its author, ie self published. Editors do not "guess" what references say, thats why we can not add this without any one here even reading it. This is basic,you don't bluff by adding rumored published references you have not even read. I am starting to feel duped into explaining because it now seems I am taken played. This is not a published peer reviewed article, I should not have to explain ten times, it is so obvious. [13] Venado 19:05, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
The article has been published at other sites. That's a fact. Whether it is referenced at this site or another site is irrelevant to me. It's a real work by a real author. A search will show an extensive effort by Anthroposophists to dispute its content (Daniel Hindes most notably). Nobody disputes the author, or the publication of the article. This just happened to be the only "neutral" source where the text was available. It appears on both Anthroposophical and Critical websites and neither its legitimacy nor its content, nor its authorship, for that matter, is in dispute. For these reasons, the article should not be rejected - in its current form (nobody needs to guess what it says - they just need to read it). It exists, it was written by Staudenmaier, an expert in this field, and is a very valid source for the information it produces. Your "explanations" don't hold any water because you keep missing the point. The point is - this is good AS IS. Pete K 19:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Google finds there are only copies in two different places. Social-ecology, where it is not a suitable publishing for reasons listed many times, and waldorfcritics, which is both not allowed for these articles and not any kind of real publisher either. This article on Google only hits 6 or 7 different websites, and all the rest are just link farms which link directly to those first two we know are not wikipedia qualified publishings. It might have been published in some much shortened form in a Norwegian publication, thats all we have to go on so far. Is this subject not note worthy enough for wikipedia in the first place? Or else there should be better reference sources we can find to use besides this. We should not have to scrape the bottom of the bowl to find something to use, and should find some wikipedia worthy published source for this.Venado 20:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure you're even looking at the right article. You seem to have it confused with the "Janus Face of Anthroposophy" article (also by Staudenmaier). Regarding the subject here are more sources but you probably won't like any of them:

  • [14]
  • [15]
  • [16]
  • [17]
  • [18]
  • [19]
  • Here is Mr. Staudenmaier himself pointing to sources - historians who have published on this subject. BTW, Mr. Staudenmaier's article contains over 50 references other historians to support his statements and conclusions (as one would expect of any scholarly work). BTW, your characterization that the inclusion of this material is "scraping the bottom of the bowl" is insulting to intelligent people. Pete K 20:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am looking at the right article. Footnote 47 has this link [20] to "Janus Face of Anthroposophy". you reverted several times to keep it.[21] [22] We have talked in circles for days, on 2 talk pages, and you do not even know what the article is that you have been reverting over. You are just wasting our time with sources you know are not allowed. Waldorfcritics is not allowed.Venado 21:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Just jumping in a bit here:

  1. ISE appears to currently offer an MA degree in conjuction with Prescott College.
  2. While the format is similar to a blog, I believe the ISE online library simply gives their faculty a place to upload essays and articles. See here for a long list of essays by numerous faculty members.
  3. While it is unusual in scholarly publications for the full name of the author to be missing, there is a page on the website here which lists "peter" clearly as Peter Staudenmaier. It seems to me that faculty are using usernames on the site, not hiding their identities.
  4. Even if we decide to call this self-published, WP:SPS states "When a well-known, professional researcher writing within his or her field of expertise has produced self-published material, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as his or her work has been previously published by reliable, third-party publications." Peter Staudenmaier is a PhD candidate (I would say therefore a professional researcher), is well-known within the Waldorf critics world, and certainly this topic is within his area of expertise. He has been published by a third-party publisher.
  5. Harbinger appears no longer to be in publication. That may be because ISE is in a state of transition, or simply has chosen to publish on the web instead. Just because it looks "unprofessional" doesn't mean it is.
  6. Social ecology, as defined by ISE, is perhaps a more activist version of what is offered at more mainstream universities, such as the University of California, Irvine's School of Social Ecology, here. (I took classes in social ecology at UCI, I know of what I speak.) ISE might be a bit polemical in their radicalism, but are we saying there aren't Marxists or ex-Black Panthers at big universities? Are we saying that authors who toe the cultural line are the only reputable sources? I think not. Also ISE is not itself polemical about Waldorf or anthroposophy.

I'm not a proponent of ISE, or Staudenmaier or his assertions. I just want us to be clear about citations. Henitsirk 20:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I do not remember points in the earlier discussions about if the source is polemical, I did not pay close attention and that is not why I say this is not a proper source. That was a dispute I was not involved in so that was the reason given by other editors to exclude the source. My reason is that it is not properly published. I do not understand why the PhD candidacy of the author would mean that his work does not need to be published. This special exception at wikipedia is intended for people like the surgeon general of the United States or a scientist awarded the Nobel prize for mapping the genome, not a graduate student still in college or only well known to waldorf critics. Normally graduate students are not considered "well known professional researchers". What I am asking is for a well known researcher with so much expertise in the field and so many experts on his side, why do we need to use this where he uploaded his own work on his college website to be published? What kind of well known professional researcher would just be self publishing his own stuff or published on waldorfcritics and no place else? If he is well known expert on this same subject then use what he published where the other well known experts publish. If he is well known in "waldorf critics world" that is not enough, he needs to be published.Venado 21:47, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
You DO get that he's been published right? Pete K 22:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
So who was the publisher and was the published material related to our discussion? Lkleinjans 23:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Then please just find this published work so we dont keep arguing why we really need to even in his case? Here is a published article that talks about the critics of Steiners race views[23]. It can be used somewhere in that discussion. If it needs more discussion on that source we should start another section. Long sections with several seperate issues mixing together are harder to follow or resolve.Venado 23:24, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Henitsirk provided a link to the published works above. No, I don't care about articles that talk about critics of Steiner and what they think - I'm interested in what scholars think - and Mr. Staudenmaier is a scholar, not a critic. Producing an article that states what critics think is no better than producing an article that says what the Dutch Commission thinks. The position of scholars (who are not Anthroposophists) is that Steiner's views were indeed racist. That's what should go in the article. Pete K 01:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Venado, it may well be better to find a different citation, or the essay in question in a more acceptable venue. All I was trying to point out was that some of the arguments against using the Staudenmaier essay don't make sense to me. For example, you said that the ISE site looks like a blog or a message board. I disagree: the ISE site is not formatted at all like a blog (the essays each have a posting date and a view counter, but that's not a blog), and an online library of essays is not a message board (there's no way to comment on the essays and there are no threaded discussions). It appears to me that ISE is using web publishing in a more informal way than they did with Harbinger, but that doesn't necessarily discount it as a source. You seem to be knowledgable about academic publishing, I seem to know about web publishing. I'm not arguing, I'm just trying to combine our knowledge.

I'm not invested in using this citation or any other, I'm just trying to point out that we have to be very clear about what we say, and that we try to reach consensus as editors using facts, not suppositions. As you've said, we can't rely on arbitrators for every little thing. Henitsirk 01:29, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

To PeteK.Henitsirk's link was to a book store selling 2 books that are different than the Janus article used as reference here. One of the books I found in an online library and see that the book is 2 essays written by 2 authors. The one by Staudenmier does not say anything about Steiners racism. But the one by Janet Bierl does. I will use that link to the book instead of the self publish by Staudenmier. I do not know if it is just careless or what it is but lot of wrong information kept coming back in this whole discussion creating arguments that go no where. The reference linked in this article by Staudenmier was misidentified to 3 totally different writings of his, and he didnt even write about Steiner's racism in his essay in the published reference finally found by tracing Henitsirks link to the publishers online book store. But somebody else wrote about Steiner there. Shortest distance between to points is a straight line not a treasure hunt. This publisher is also a radical anarchist press, so the polemical dispute might still be unresolved. But I do not have the whole facts on the decision admins made when this question came up before.Venado 02:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious to me that you want to find any excuse to exclude Staudenmaier as a possible source. The Janus article was acceptable, as is the Anthroposophy and Ecofacism article. I may add Staudenmaier's article back in ANYWAY because it's a valid source and he is a valid historian and scholar. You may think the shortest distance between point A and point B is to claim point C is just as good, but I don't agree. I didn't say, BTW, that that particular article was listed in the link Henitsirk provided - I said that it shows Staudenmaier is published on the same topic - which it does. Staudenmaier is an EXPERT on Steiner and I intend to challenge any removal of his material here - as long as I am here (another reason to push for my banishment). Here he absolutely discusses Steiner's racism AND Waldorf schools. This is the article that should be used as a source here, and the one I repeatedly pointed you to - not the Janus article. Pete K 05:50, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The article is not a for racking author trophies. It is an article about Steiner. I found a published source to verify the article statement, the Steiner article was not changed one inch to accomadate it. But thats not good enough, and now 4th Staudenmier web article is merchandised like all of them are the same. Like equally interchangable tires on a car. There were several days trying to confuse editors tp interchange one self publish Staudenmier with another. Why? Is this the idea of his publishing agent? I dont know if it is spamming or wikilaywering or what the name is but this is not constructive editing given the task at hand. It is creatomg unnecessary conflicts. And takes time from the project. Is that the intention? Because this is a needless conflict, and does not impact article content. But only impacts potentially the face time of slighted authors who want a citation at wikipedia for themselves. If this is about one source face time on wikipedia, it just detracts from the project. It is not a place to pad the CV. Why rewind and go through it all again to battle about a source that didnt pass before? This went to dead ends for so long, and is a redundant source that wont even affect article content. When an end-run victory has been found, why refight old battles that were lost? Venado 07:51, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you're confused here. I don't have time to mess with this but as I said above, point C doesn't represent a faster or straighter route to point B. Peter Staudenmaier is an expert in this field, he's not a critic nor an anthroposophist, his material is peer-reviewed, and his credentials are impeccable. There's no valid reason to exclude his work with an "end run". Pete K 15:16, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Henitisirk, I am sorry I was not more clear in my message. I did not mean that the whole Institute website was a blog or messageboard, just the section of the website where the article linked here was found which also had "upcoming events" notices and other kinds of non articles. I described the radical anarchist activist mission because the original deletion gave the reason "judged a polemical source", not that it was not published which was my reason.Venado 02:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Right simple solution to this problem - I suggest you take it. If Peter Staudenmaier is truly a expert in the area of Anthroposophy then he will either have peer reviewed journal articles (can not find any) or published works (only thing I can find is [24] and I do not think this is particularly relevant). This suggests to me that he is not really a notable expert to work from (great to use his work to find other sources that we can use). Using his work, would be like using by 1st PhD year report (which had 80+ references) as a source - no one in the scientific community would take it seriously (and certainly not quote it) until it was published (though they would take an interest). Hence I suggest that until P.Staudenmaier is shown to be an expert in the area, his unpublished works/comments/opinions should not be used as references in these topics. Cheers Lethaniol 16:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I added that published book you found on amazon as a reference because at least it was published and the Biehl essay of it was relevant, not the Staudenmier essay though because it did not talk about Steiner and racism. But Pete_K has added a new link with a self published Staudemier article Pete_K has mistitled. He has edit warred with me to keep it, so I will leave this for somebody else to sort out. I have already complained about the time wasted by interchanging titles of the articles and it did no good. This interchanging of different Staudenmier titles and publications has happened to many times in this dispute. I hope it is not deliberate but at the least it is total carelessness to keep happening after I pointed the problem out already. The reference should come out anyway. Pete_K has not shown it to be properly published, and the editor who adds sources is responsible for making sure it is properly published and not pass that job to some one else.Venado 17:39, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Dutch commission[edit]

Please resume discussion about the anthroposophist report here.Venado 15:53, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The info3 is an anthroposophist publication, not allowed under arbitration. Do not edit war to keep unallowed sources. After two scathing arbitration reviews to remind you all, why am I still repeating this. Research to find other sources. Just look for other published sources, including Dutch newspapers because they might have written about it. Probably there was more mainstream published attention in the Netherlands since the report dealt with compliance to Dutch law.Venado 17:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Regardless of the sources found, the report is a biased report produced by biased individuals. It's relevance, other than to show the absurdity of the efforts of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society to clear their well-deserved reputation has not been demonstrated here. It does not excuse Steiner of racism or racist speech. It has no value here and was only introduced with the intention of confusing the readers. Pete K 18:04, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Steiner quotes[edit]

I removed most Steiner references except quotes which still need discussion. I think we need to assess how they are used in this article. I say Steiner quotes may be o.k. in some places but only when they are used as example or illustration of a point which has been made by a secondary source. We can not use Steiner quotes to make other wise unverified claims. We can not use Steiner quotes to stand alone either. They must be used only in context of sourced claims surrounding written text in the article. Your thoughts please.Venado 20:36, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree, ideally should only use Steiner refs for quotes (also agree those quotes should not be stand alone but relevant and proportional to the article content), and possibly for occasions where we might want to say Steiner thought X, or said Y, though again ideally secondary neutral sources preferred. Cheers Lethaniol 20:45, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

What would be the basis (policy) for only allowing Steiner references as citation for quotes? This does not seem to be supported by the arbitration ruling as such. Thebee 00:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

It is a primary source which can only be used in very limited ways on wikipedia, especially autobiography which is even more limited how to use as a source in any article. Admins have pointed out in comments in involved articles that second and third party sources must be used. The editors have misused primary sources in the involved articles by taking it to synthesize or represent interpretations of concepts in statements made in the involved articles which is not allowed in any article at wikipedia. Under probation there is extra concern due to controversial issues and the extreme POV pushing from all sides. So though Steiner can be quoted I want the guidelines made clear so everyone understands how they can and cant be used. One common misuse of Steiner happened often in the race discussion. Quotes are used to stand by themselves (not allowed) and are also used like this: "Steiner was opponent of racism. 'One should not view people of different races as ...', quote page 6 Lecture 7 by Rudolf Steiner." Editors cant do this. They are required to use second and third party sources who have made this conclusion. It can not be said relying on primary source reference only at wikipedia.Venado 02:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Totally agree with Venado - especially that primary sources of autobiographical nature should be used with extreme care. This has nothing to do with the article probation or ArbCom, but the standard policies in place see WP:BIO and WP:RS. Cheers Lethaniol 02:33, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it would be appropriate to use Steiner's own works as sources for the information here either. He said a lot of things about himself that simply weren't true. Let's please be careful how we source this material. OTOH, if it's OK to use Steiner quotes directly, I've got a few I'd like to add. Pete K 03:49, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Rules for citations in this article[edit]

I think this needs some sorting out. Three types of guidelines are referred to in the above discussion. One is Wikipedia policies. Another is the arbitration ruling. A third is expressed opinion of admin/s.

Venado, when you refer to the last, writing "Admins have pointed out in comments in involved articles that second and third party sources must be used.", does this refer to the expressed opinion of Thatcher131 above, and/or do you refer to other comments? Thanks, Thebee 10:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Ha, welcome to the world of Wikipedia, where you have to balance and interpret multiple policies in relation to each quite frequently. The ArbCom decision is in addition to the requirements of Wikipedia policy (in fact the ArbCom have really only made an interpretive decision of the policies in the specific case on Anthroposophical sources). Any opinion of any Admin, though likely to be helpful, does not overrule either Wikipedia policy or the ArbCom decision. Cheers Lethaniol 10:25, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
There were many comments, I dont have them without looking. Most admin comments attempt to explain and arent only new rules as they are sometimes thought by editors here. The only new rules in effect here are new extra restrictions from arbitration on sources from anthroposophic publishers and waldorfcritics and other sources with strong bias, and that the articles are on probation to make sure the problems get fixed. I think editors have been wasting to much time on sources that fall in the gray area because then no work gets done while editors argue for days about it is o.k. or not o.k. Steiner is not much in the gray anyway in this article. It is about him so the ways he can be used as a source are not very many by normal wikipedia rules. The way Steiner quotes are used is taking it over the edge at this point. More independent sources will have to be found to support the use of some of the quotes that are there right now and need more verification of the claim. Quotes cant make or prove claims by themselves. Only can be used, like a photo, to illustrate analysis verified with second and third party sources.Venado 20:53, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Peter Nasselstein[edit]

Can someone tell me how Peter Nasselstein is notable/neutral/expert enough for his website to be used as a WP:RS. Again simple answer, if he is not all of these then we can not use his website as a source and the revert war over [25] can stop. Cheers Lethaniol 15:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Also Pete K - have you read Flensburger Hefte 3/91, Heft 32: "Anthroposophen und Nationalsozialismus," Flensburg 1991, or have you just cut and pasted it from [26]. If so - it needs to be removed, as it is difficult to trust a partisan website, even more so if you wish to reference without reading its sources. Cheers Lethaniol 15:32, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
It is another self publish on a personal website. This and many other questionable sources in the revert wars recently come from list found on waldorfcritics not the library or scholar journals.Venado 15:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
If editors use a reference they have to read it first, not take it from a footnote. Besides it must be read directly to see context, also Flensburger Hefte is not allowed per arbitration. It is anthroposophic publisher.Venado 15:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The same information shows up everywhere. [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] Pete K 16:02, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

First of all I do not understand German so maybe someone who can, can comment on these sources. Also this looks all very weak Pete K. Cheers Lethaniol 16:06, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I have removed Pete K additions of the two references mentioned above, Pete K's reply does nothing to assert the expertise of Peter Nasselstein, and Venado has noted that Flensburger Hefte is an Antroposophical source. If new sources/information comes forward then maybe the info removed had be reinstated. Cheers Lethaniol 16:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Use your translator on Google or another translator - that's what I did. Fact - Lippert was an Anthroposophist and biodynamic gardner working in the concentration camp. Fact - Lippert was an SS officer with special privledges (didn't have to wear a uniform). Fact - Lippert was connected to Weleda. None of this is disputed. Several sources say he conducted experiments to test Weleda products - even wine magazines that I haven't listed make this claim. I'd like to see something that disputes any of this before the information is removed. Again, it's the content that we are troubled by and the sources are being attacked. When we make ridiculous statements about child development stages, nobody seems to mind if we use flimsy sources. The sources I have provided all confirm the source in the article. Pete K 16:18, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Neither does Pete_K speak German, he said he did not on talk pages. What does Lippert have to do with Rudolf Steiner article anyway. Rudolf Steiner was dead 15 years before Dachau. This is just soapbox, not worth time on this article.Venado 16:27, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
You have it the wrong way Pete K, you have to back up the facts with appropraite sources, not add a statement with poor sources, and ask for sources to dispute your statement. Cheers Lethaniol 16:33, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
i can read german, some of pete's other links directly contradict this nasselstein article. why should anyone be interested what another weirdo (wilhelm reich) had to say about steiner? that link should stay out of the article.trueblood 12:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
it just contains the same mixture of halftruth and oversimplifications as all these articles by staudenmeyer e.a.
for example: that haverbeck, the anthronazi, was converted to anthropospophy at the home of rudolf hess, i would like some proof for that, so far i did not even had hess down as an anthroposophist. also, himmler to my knowledge never supported biodynamics, he had connections to the chemical industry, and was more for intensive farming. stories about plans for the reich being farmed biodynamicly and the east chemically, or even agricultural trials conducted at auschwitz. it's getting more ridiculous. trueblood 12:18, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

There are more real published historical books and scholar work available on World War II, the Third Reich, and Nazism than any other era in history. So much excellent sources available and why hasnt any of it used and just self publishings? Some very bad judgement has been used bringing some obvious unsuitable sources, including this one, a self publish website. It is not going into the article, and I am going to be bold and archive some of the real long discussions on the talk page that are wasting space and our time beating a dead horse.Venado 15:32, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Identify hidden comment[edit]

The following was lost in an invisible comment in the article. Does anyone know the story on this?

  • "In May of 1891 Iduna (literature society), which had the descriptive subtitle of "Free German Society for Literature", was founded by a circle of writers around Fritz Lemmermayer. Lemmermayer acted as a sort of "middle man" between an older generation of authors (which included Fercher von Steinwand, Joseph Tandler, Auguste Hyrtl, Ludwig von Mertens, and Josephone von Knorr) and a group of younger writers and thinkers (which included Rudolf Steiner, Marie Eugenie delle Grazie, and Karl Maria Heidt). The name Iduna was provided by List himself and is that of a North Germanic goddess of eternal youth and renewal. Richard von Kralik and Joseph Kalasanz Poestion, authors with specifically neo-Germanic leanings, where also involved in the circle. The other organisation List was involved with was the 'Literarische Donaugesellschaft' (Danubian Literary Society), which was founded by List and Fanny Wschiansky the year the Iduna was dissolved in 1893. At this time Guido von List met Rudolf Steiner."

I have removed it to here to be identified.Venado 20:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Last chance[edit]

I have blocked Pete K and Hgilbert each for 24 hours for edit warring on Waldorf education. The next time these articles are disrupted by edit warring I will fully protect them and no one will be able to edit at all. In order to edit the article you will have to agree on the edit and then put the {{edit protected}} template on the talk page to get an admin to do it for you (assuming you can agree on anything).

I also notice that these articles, despite the article probation, rely heavily on anthroposophy-published documents as sources, in spite of the arbitration ruling determining that they should be removed. Documents originating with anthroposophy, the Waldorf foundation, or Rudolph Stiener are not acceptable as sources either for claims that Waldorf is good, or for claims that Waldorf is bad. Things ranging from the complex (whether Steiner was racist) to the simple (whether Waldorf schools discourage parental communication) can not be sourced to primary documents. They are not considered reliable sources for several reasons. Generally if you are using Waldorf materials to describe the benefits etc., you run afoul of the self-serving limits of the reliable source policy, and if you are citing Waldorf documents to "prove" they have problems, you are violating the "interpreting primary sources to draw a conclusion is original research" limitation.

If you think that reopening the arbitration case will get the other editors banned but leave you safe, I can almost guarantee you are wrong. Clean up these articles. Get the Waldorf sources and all the original research, conclusions and personal experiences out. Rely on what independent third parties have published in reliable sources, and if they haven't published anything about a topic, take it out. Trust me, you do not want the case reopened. Thatcher131 02:59, Date Jan 12, 07 (UTC)

See discussion and comment on this at Talk page of another article.

Thebee 16:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Hold section "Last Chance" Venado 00:48, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


The reception section appears randomly chosen and unhelpful. Should we scrap it? Revise it? How? All suggestions are welcome. Hgilbert 14:32, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

In any case, Geoffrey Falk should not be cited. His book is self-published on the web and no more a reliable source than a weblog. — goethean 21:09, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I have put it here: Talk:Rudolf Steiner/Reception for further editing. Hgilbert 15:31, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I think it is useful for people to know who Steiner influenced. Perhaps there's a better way of presenting this information. On the pages of other philosophers there is usually a box of information underneath the picture. Descartes is a good example of this. I think it gives quick information about whom Steiner influenced, it is easily formatted, and we can put in a bunch of quick facts like DOB and death, etc. Bellowed 00:42, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Christ being[edit]

the term christ being is not really a generally used one, can we replace it by jc or something, at least in the section heading?trueblood 16:50, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it is awkward. Unfortunately Steiner regards Jesus Christ as a particular incarnation of a being that has accompanied all of human evolution, so JC is probably not so helpful. What about simply Christ? Hgilbert 17:18, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
yep; trueblood 16:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

wanted to change but realized that i don't know what the first sentence is supposed to mean, leave to someone emse...trueblood 16:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I changed it in the heading, that might be enough. Erdanion 17:36, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Deletions of sourced text taken from Steiner's lectures by user TheBee[edit]

Wihtout any valid explanation, user TheBee deleted citation from Steiner's lecture. Please next time discuss your reverts here on the talk page without going straight to edit warring.

According to Steiner, spiritual characteristics are tied to skin colour and non-white skin colour is a sign of spiritual defects that would be expunged in a future race war. [32] Rudolf Steiner, Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges, Dornach, 1974 (GA 174b) pp. 30-54 The lecture was without any critical comments published as late as 1978 in Antropos, the official organ of the Swedish anthroposophical society. See Rudolf Steiner ,"Den andliga bakgrunden till motsättningar mellan folkgrupper" in: Antropos. Tidskrift för antroposofi. Volume 24, #1 (January 1978).

The source given in general is repeatedly unreliable in his description of sources. For some typical examples, see [33], [34], [35], and [36]. This holds also for this case. Steiner does not say in the lecture that non-white skin colour is a sign of spiritual defects that will be expunged in a future race war. This is one of the reasons the site used in general is impermissible as a source site. See also earlier discussion of it. I will therefore remove the statement and source given. Thebee 11:13, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Your personal website allegations cannot be used here. Moreover your links do not disprove the fact that such lecture was given by Steiner in 1915 and do not disprove that publication in which Steiner lecture was published is a forgery. Moreover simple Google search shows more sources referring to that Steiner's citation.
Your source says nothing about Rudolf Steiner, Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges, Dornach, 1974 (GA 174b) pp. 30-54.
Let me also add that I do not acuse Steiner of anything, I just cite him. Therefore your link to the previous debate with someone who accused Steiner of racism is not relevant here. If you would delete the citation, I would put disputed tag on the article.
I can understand your desire to put sourced material in this article. However, in the arbitration proceedings and review, polemical sources (and Staudenmaier was specifically mentioned) from either side were excluded, especially as regards controversial material. Academic publications of neutral parties are preferred. Check with the administrator who directed the arbitration, User:Fred Bauder, if you want confirmation of this. Hgilbert 12:27, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
You say "Staudenmaier was specifically mentioned" but a search of both pages you've linked does not confirm this. Care to try again? IPSOS (talk) 12:51, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I join the above question.Mister Krubbs 14:52, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Staudenmaier is not mentioned in the arbitration of the Rudolf Steiner article; however it has been mentioned in the arbitration discussion of the Waldorf education article [37]. Lkleinjans 16:12, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
The more specific discussion would be this, during which Mr. Bauder, main arbitrator commented on the writings of Staudenmaier
Sounds like a good example of an unreliable source. There is no need to specifically mention such sources; any polemical source is considered unreliable. Fred Bauder 16:55, 17 December 2006 (UTC).
S's unreliability is repeatedly demonstrated by his writings. Thebee 17:49, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
This discussion is the one I meant. (Same as the bee's). Note that there are several comments by Fred Bauder (not just the one mentioned above) that indicate that Staudenmaier is not a proper source; for example, he replied "of course" to the suggestion that anyone who "worked actively in a public capacity in organizations, on an ideological basis strongly critical of Waldorf education and anthroposophy, be considered as unreliable sources" (as ipso facto polemical). Staudenmaier has done so.
Sorry that this link was not in the original comment; there are about 15 different pages that relate to the arbitration, and I only mentioned the primary ones originally (from which one can find all the subsidiary discussions). Hgilbert 18:18, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Racial theories[edit]

The source recently added, Husmann-Kastein, is non-polemical in character. I have added some flesh to the racial characterizations section through citations to this source. Hgilbert 01:55, 8 June 2007 (UTC)


The reference for the Lindenberg biography (Lindenberg, Christoph Andreas, Rudolf Steiner: Eine Biographie (2 vols.). Stuttgart, 1997, ISBN 3-7725-1551-7) lists the wrong Lindenberg: it's Christoph Lindenberg, not Christoph Andreas Lindenberg. The latter is a lyrist and music therapist in the U.S. EPadmirateur 19:27, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

. . . Um . . . hello Hgilbert? I see you dashed off to quickly fix this. Going to pretend you don't know the fellow is an anthroposophist? There is no good faith here - none. You will do what you think you can get away with.DianaW 01:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

There are two works in question here. The work cited in the body of the article is published by Rowohlt Verlag, one of the most distinguished publishing houses in Germany, not by an anthroposophical ("in-house") publisher. It is thus subject to third-party review, the standard of the arbitration, which said to avoid works "self-published by the Anthroposophy movement". Rowohlt Verlag clearly does not fall under this category.
The work listed in the bibliography, like many others there, is published by an anthroposophical publishing house. As far as I know, there is no reason not to have such books in the bibliography. Hgilbert 13:52, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Look at this![edit]

The section on Steiner's antisemitism has been reduced to this:

"Steiner and Antisemitism Beginning around the turn of the century, Steiner wrote a series of seven articles for the Mitteilungen aus dem Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus, a magazine devoted to combatting anti-Semitism, in which he attacked the anti-Semitism of the era. [53]"

This is a disgrace. This is what the anthroposophists who manage this article have achieved here in the wake of the arbitration that effectively stifled critical perspectives on this page. Steiner was an anti-Semite himself - not an opponent of anti-Semitism.DianaW 14:56, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Do you have any verifiable sources for this? You have been a great one for emphasizing the value of the arbitration's requirement for citation sources ... Hgilbert 11:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

To quote thebee on another anthroposophy-related article: "The Aritration ruling stated that for information that is not controversial, anthroposophical sources are allowed. See the ruling. Thanks, Thebee 13:40, 16 July 2007." So then it is all right with you guys if we quote Steiner's own words, declaring that it is a mistake of world history that Judaism still exists? It's not "controversial" to claim that Steiner actually said this, is it? Which way do you want to play this? Any way but honest, I guess? DianaW 02:01, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

As you probably know, I have looked at the historical context for what you refer to. It indicates that just quoting it without taking this into account and describing it and giving a full account of his complex views on Jewry, see for example this, would be highly controversial. That's the reason it isn't quoted in the article. And "Look at this!" is not a very descriptive/informative header, as you're probably aware of. Thanks, Thebee 07:38, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

You're playing a game. It's not controversial that he *said* what I note above about Jews and their being a mistake of world history. That's just a quote from Steiner. Clearly, you couldn't and wouldn't deny that he said it. Anthroposophists don't dispute that Steiner said the fact that Judaism still exists is a mistake of world history. It's the meaning, significance, historical context etc. of this unfortunate remark that you dispute. But on other articles, you want to claim you can stick in your favorite Steiner web sites as long as it's only to source something factual and straightforward. By "owning" these articles, you've managed to have your cake and eat it too playing games like this - acting hurt and offended when something simple like an official list of Waldorf schools worldwide is disputed because after all it's just a list of facts isn't it? Well it's also a simple fact that Steiner wrote blatantly offensive things about Jews.DianaW 10:48, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

It's a fact that that's your reaction to what he wrote. We have been asked to cite authoritative sources, however. Please find these and add them; I agree that the section should be improved. Hgilbert 13:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

To Diana: If you have got sources, other than quoting Steiner (original research, right?), please produce them. At the moment, all you are saying is that your interpretation of various things you've read have convinced you that Steiner was an anti-Semite. This is fine, but it doesn't meet encyclopedia standards. One problem is that Steiner was not seen as an anti-Semite by his contemporaries. The recent biography by Lachman (not an anthroposophist) (Rudolf Steiner: an introduction to his life and work by Gary Lachman, Penguin 2007) has two entries under anti-Semitism in the index, neither describes Steiner as an anti-Semite. MinorityView 02:43, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

date of birth[edit]

is the 27th Feb. -- 16:25, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Steiner's autobiography gives the date 27 February 1861. However, there is an undated autobiographical fragment written by Steiner (referred to in a footnote in his autobiography in German, GA 28) that says, "My birth fell on the 25th of February 1861. Two days later I was baptized." --EPadmirateur 23:21, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

There are several incorrect statements regarding the following sections from a historical point of view:

"Childhood and education

..., then part of Hungary (present-day Donji Kraljevec, Međimurje region, northernmost Croatia). When he was two years old, the family moved into Burgenland, Austria, in the foothills of the eastern Alps."

There was no Hungarian state in 1861 as the text appears to imply. At that time, Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire, which became the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867. Hungary belonged to the Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire from the 16th/17th centuries until 1918. Burgenland did not exist in 1861, but was created in 1921 after the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 and is nowadays indeed a "county"/"state" of the Republic of Austria. There was never a territory called "Burgenland" before 1921, but the region that forms Burgenland today was actually part of several (Hungarian) Comitats in "Transleithanien" (= Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1867-1918). There was a similar administrative situation also before 1867.

Since English is not my mother tongue I leave it up to English native speakers to introduce the necessary corrections in the text.

Cheers, Ulrich —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:57, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks; I've corrected the section accordingly. Hgilbert 01:44, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

race section[edit]

This section seems not to have been cleaned up according to the arbitration standards, astonishingly enough; citations to Steiner were still hanging around. It also was poorly organized. Look at the rewrite, which begins with the critique, but tries to give reasonable space to both sides, and see what you think. Hgilbert 12:45, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

It is okay, but feels sort of superficial in both the criticism and the explanation. If someone actually followed up the references do you think they would get a fair picture? I guess it is okay for an encyclopedia article, which is basically meant to give a brief overview.MinorityView 01:44, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

-Would it not make sense to just remove what the opposing sides think from the section and place what Steiner did think-say here? The section is about Stiners views after all. Maybe at the end of the section one can say that the skeptics find the above to be racist and the supporters find nothing raciest about the above. The article is on what Rudolf Steiners views on race, it is not a debate about if he was/was not raciest. It would be important to mention that different people understand what he said differently, the skeptics see a racist man and the supports see a non-racist man. Ether way, it is not good for the article to be a debate, as it looks to be now, and at the same time people need to make up there own minds about things, while getting all the information. Does this sound reasonable? Knightt 18:45, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Some of this has been hashed through in previous discussions and the arbitration process. Excerpting bits of Steiner ends up equalling original research. How do you choose which bits? How do you judge whether the bits chosen are typical or not of his body of work? How much background do you provide on each quote? And supporters are not a uniform group. Saying that "supporters" find nothing racist about the quotes would end up misrepresenting the opinions of some followers, to put it mildly. It is perfectly possible to admire much of Steiner's work and disagree with some statements or feel that they are outdated and irrelevant.
Read through some of the archived discussions or have a look at the arbitration conclusions. MinorityView 01:39, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Specifically, we were asked to use peer-reviewed studies rather than original sources for any controversial areas, for the reasons detailed above. Please help find more material of this kind! Hgilbert 03:00, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Medical views[edit]

In Foundations of Human Experience, Steiner calls the brain the organ of thinking (p. 116 in the German). I have removed the section stating that this is not so. I have also taken away the term "vital force", which seems not to stem from Steiner. Hgilbert 08:25, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The "heart is not a mechanical pump" section does not fit into controversies as now worded; there is no documented controversy over this. On the other hand, I don't know where we'd put this rather minor point; it is only here because people have taken umbrage over it - but not in any documentable fashion. Does it belong at all? Where? Hgilbert (talk) 01:20, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The racism section[edit]

I have studied Steiner's work for over 15 years, and while I see the necessity of including the controversy about his racial ideas, I also think that the presentation of these ideas in this entry could be a bit misleading. These views about the different races were expressed in some of his most profoundly esoteric lectures, and they do not bear such glib extraction. On the other hand, to present these ideas in an accurate context would necessitate including a web of related ideas that don't belong in a simple article. Might it be best at least to point out the gravity and complexity of these ideas, as they relate to his entire cosmology?

It's late and I'm not expressing myself too well, but this seems like it needs further attention. Feel free to write to me directly at

Best wishes, Neil Martinson —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

All material here must be referenced to verifiable sources; on controversial themes, preferably to peer-reviewed sources. If you know of such sources that are not included here, please let us know or add them directly. Hgilbert (talk) 13:36, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, I have tried to rebalance the presentation and have removed the specific example that was extracted from a larger presentation. Can someone have a look and see if this is an improvement? Hgilbert (talk) 14:10, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I can understand removing the quote from Knowledge of Higher Worlds, but don't understand the justification for removing the characterizations of the 4 or 5 different races from Husmann-Kastein in this change. Not scholarly? Not peer reviewed? Too superficial? Incorrect characterization? --EPadmirateur (talk) 00:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Not peer-reviewed. I was the one who originally put this in; I realize now, reviewing the section in response to Neil's comment above, that it does not qualify by arbitration standards. I thought the article was fairly balanced, considering the intensely critical attitude of the author, but an individual editor's judgment should not override arbitration criteria. Hgilbert (talk) 15:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
i removed this part:

On the other hand, Steiner emphasized the core spiritual unity of all the world's peoples and sharply criticized racial prejudice, stating his beliefs that:

  • The individual nature of any person stands higher than any racial, ethnic, national or religious affiliation,[1][2]
  • Race and ethnicity are transient, not essential aspects of the individual, especially since in Steiner's view each individual incarnates in many different peoples and races over successive lives, thus bearing within him- or herself a range of races and peoples.[3][4]
  • Race is rapidly losing any remaining significance for humanity.[4]

since we do not allow anthropop quotations anymore, i suppose we cannot use christoph lindenberg and propably also not this blume guy. also do kindly explain to me how the text could remain the same although the reference was changed to zander. i thought we had a balanced section with some of quotations that were racist and some that were anti racist. now you are spinning things around again to mellow it down, pity that.trueblood (talk) 10:13, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I think your objections all center around the choice of references. Christoph Lindenberg's book is a scholarly work published by a mainstream source (Rowohlt) and so is acceptable. Same for Blume's chapter on Beuys in the Kugler and Baur book Rudolf Steiner in Art and Architecture, published by DuMont in Cologne. The text that remained the same even though the citation changed from Husmann to Zander was, I believe, "Race is rapidly losing any remaining significance for humanity". This is something Steiner said very emphatically a number of times and (most likely) was cited by both authors, since they are being scholarly in their analyses of Steiner, although by no means uncritical, either of them. I think this little section that you removed needs to be restored to maintain neutrality. What else needs to be added to regain balance and not mellow the article down? --EPadmirateur (talk) 05:32, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I removed a source, Husmann-Kastein, from which the majority of the text had been drawn (I had put this in originally but in checking the online text found that it is not peer reviewed, as required by the arbitration). I found the now-cited article by Zander, who is a fairly prominent historian and far and away the most objective source. Some of his conclusions overlap with Husmann-Kastein's, for example, the one you cite. I can look back at Zander's article; I'm sure there are more critical sides represented there I've not yet brought in, as well. Otherwise: sources, sources, sources! Hgilbert (talk) 12:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
my objections center around my impression that hgilbert uses the arbitration results to remove anything remotely critical. we had a nice little version of this section where some of the crasser racist remarks were mentioned and some of the anitracist stuff; hgilbert removed the racist stuff, i removed the anti racist stuff. at the same time he pretends that all he wants is a fair and balanced article. i am sort of tired of that.trueblood (talk) 16:49, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
That's not the way it works: rather than remove valid material, you need to find properly sourced material that reflects the criticism of racism. There must be such statements, particularly from Zander and similar scholars. Can you find some? In the meantime, the deleted material needs to be restored. --EPadmirateur (talk) 20:08, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I actually added a critique of Steiner's "extreme assimilationist views" that was challenged by another editor as being unsourced. I think this accurately represents Steiner's views but must find a peer-reviewed source before I can include it. The same holds for any other controversial analysis on his works. FIND PEER-REVIEWED SOURCES!!! Zander has written a lot on the subject, for example; I have gone through a small fraction of his work. Hgilbert (talk) 18:50, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I have tried to balance the section again with material from Zander. Hgilbert (talk) 19:13, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


I have removed what I hope is the last non-peer reviewed claim from the article, about Steiner's view of inoculations. The quote was more ambiguous than the claim, in any case. If we find any peer-reviewed analyses of Steiner's views on the subject, we should include the topic again. Hgilbert (talk) 19:28, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I think this "controversy" needs to be kept in the article: "One of Steiner's controversial medical doctrines concerns the notion that Anthroposophical doctors should generally avoid giving inoculations." There is this statement and reference in Anthroposophical medicine: "Anthroposophical doctors generally restrict the use of antibiotics, antipyretics, and vaccinations.[5]" This statement from the Lancet paper itself refers to a book: Goebel W, Glöckler M. A guide to child health. Edinburgh: Floris Books; 1990. I think this same reference can be used to justify the deleted statement. --EPadmirateur (talk) 00:27, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The Lancet citation could be used for the anthroposophy or anthroposophic medicine articles, but is not relevant here; the claim that anthroposophic doctors restrict the use of vaccinations says nothing about Steiner's medical advice (or "doctrine" [sic]). The Steiner quote I removed could perhaps be used here if accurately summarized and if considered uncontroversial (per arbitration), though we have been asked by that arbitration proceeding to avoid direct quotes. Hgilbert (talk) 02:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, how about this formulation:
One of Steiner's controversial medical indications was that Anthroposophical doctors should generally avoid giving inoculations and Anthroposophical doctors typically follow this.[6]
I don't think you can get an allowable direct citation referring to what Steiner indicated. This provides an indirect citation and states a fact that derives from Steiner's indication. (Note that the word "generally" as in "generally restrict" is not present in the Lancet article.) --EPadmirateur (talk) 02:46, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
We could also include the next sentence in the text of the reference, thus: "Anthroposophical doctors restrict the use of antibiotics, antipyretics, and vaccinations. Most children are vaccinated only against tetanus and polio, and most vaccinations are given later than recommended by the Swedish health authorities." --EPadmirateur (talk) 02:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ Robert McDermott, The Essential Steiner, Harper San Francisco 1984 ISBN 0-06-065345-0
  2. ^ p.55
  3. ^ Eugen Blume, "Joseph Beuys". In Kugler and Baur, Rudolf Steiner in Kunst und Architektur, ISBN 3832190120, p. 186
  4. ^ a b "Es hängt dabei von den Interessen der Leser ab, ob die Anthroposophie rassistisch interpretiert wird oder nicht." Helmut Zander, "Sozialdarwinistische Rassentheorien aus dem okkulten Untergrund des Kaiserreichs", in Puschner et al., Handbuch zur "Völkischen Bewegung" 1871-1918: 1996.
  5. ^ Alm, J. S., Swartz, J., Lilja, G., Scheynius, A., and Pershagen, G. (1999). Atopy in children of families with an anthroposophic lifestyle. Lancet, 353(9163):1485-8. PMID 10232315 Reprint copy
  6. ^ Alm, J. S., Swartz, J., Lilja, G., Scheynius, A., and Pershagen, G. (1999). Atopy in children of families with an anthroposophic lifestyle. Lancet, 353(9163):1485-8. PMID 10232315 Reprint copy. "Anthroposophical doctors restrict the use of antibiotics, antipyretics, and vaccinations."
If this passage is to remain it needs a citation that demonstrates that Steiner himself, not just anthroposophical doctors today, advised against vaccination: this is the claim made in (and the only relevance for) this article. I can provide a citation: GA120 p. 170, where he recommends vaccinations outright. I see no source claiming he suggested they not be used. This is WP:OR and untrue to boot. I have removed the passage again. Hgilbert (talk) 01:52, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

assimilationist views[edit]

"Steiner held extreme assimilationist views, which have been criticised." Is this directly related to, and better placved in, the next paragraph? If not please supply source and ID who critisised him. SmithBlue (talk) 03:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

The sub section "Steiner's stance against Antisemitism" is in a section named "Controversies" - why is a stance against Antisemitism being included as a contoversy? If this is the correct location for this sub-section then it needs to be made clear why it is in the controversies section. SmithBlue (talk) 01:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Controversies include:
  1. over his stance against Antisemitism (around the turn of the 19th-20th century a controversial stance)
  2. in the 1920s-1940s, attacks by right-wing nationalists (especially Nazi ideologues) over his (and anthroposophy's) links to prominent Jews
  3. in more recent times, controversy over his views on Jewish assimilation .
I have added a reference for the assimilationist question Hgilbert (talk) 19:48, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

general criticisms of Steiner's work and views[edit]

The articles on Rudolf Steiner and on anthroposophy in the German Wikipedia devote substantial space to criticisms of Steiner, which are broader in focus than the discussion of a few particular controversies mentioned here. I believe the English-language Wikipedia article on Steiner would profit from a similar section, even a translation of the section labeled Kritik and other sections in the German article. In particular, light remains to be shed on Steiner's claims that his research was scientific. The English-language Anthroposophy article does treat this question but in such a way as may give the impression that only a few researchers have disputed the scientific standing of Steiner's methodology, and that their criticisms are easily dismissed on a priori grounds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mstarli (talkcontribs) 04:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC) Mstarli (talk) 04:42, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The articles related to anthroposophy at the English Wikipedia differ from the ones at the German Wikipedia, in being limited - through arbitration - to sticking to articles in peer reviewed sources for description of controversial issues, or published by non-anthroposophical publishers, with the added limitation of not as source allowing material by authors who have held positions in organisations, that on ideological grounds criticize anthroposophy. This holds for example for an article by Sven Ove Hansson on the issue "Is Anthroposophy Science". It also holds for material by a Peter Staudenmaier, who has held (and still in principle possibly holds) the position of faculty/staff member at an Institute for Social Ecology that on ideological grounds criticizes anthroposophy.
These limits do not hold for the German Wikipedia. This just as one comment on the issue.
On a more principal level, to discuss the issue of anthroposophy from a scientific perspective, one needs to understand that Steiner worked in the idealistic philosophical tradition much rooted in the works of Aristotle and his way of developing scientific research as systematic human observation and thinking, and then focussing on developing both as part of science as induction, while what mostly is called science today (since some centuries) focusses on developing it as a hypothetic-deductive process, based on a mistrust of human observation and thinking as such, and on replacing human observations with registrations by instruments, and "thinking" by computers using mathematical models. For some comments on the background for this, see "What is Science?"
Regards, Thebee (talk) 09:43, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I'll have a look to see if anything can be brought over. Hgilbert (talk) 14:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
All of the citations questioning his scientific basis (in both the Rudolf Steiner Kritik section and the Anthroposophie article) seem to be unpublished lectures from a single conference; unpublished and thus not peer-reviewed. If you have other sources, I also think this is one of the most serious criticisms of Steiner and anthroposophy today. Hgilbert (talk) 14:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

This article is a bloody disgrace![edit]

Boo! I see that the Steiner Gestapo has removed a lot of material from this article. You people love to remove material, even well documented material, that shows Steiner in a negative light (and there's plenty of it out there). Shame on you all (Steiner Gestapo) for not representing Herr Steiner's views in a more truthful way.

First of all, the fact that Steiner was a bloody racist (or at the very least a bloody racialist) has been so watered-down in this article that it's frickin' pathetic! What happened to this whole part of the article:

"Steiner's comments about race are inconsistent in a way typical of the German Theosophical movement of his time: he "often claimed that white Europeans had achieved a higher level of spiritual perfection than the African, Asian or Jewish races. Sometimes, he even went so far as to claim that in the grand cycle of spiritual evolution, the Germanic race had advanced the furthest. At other times and with comparable frequency, however, Steiner reiterated the core spiritual unity of all the world's peoples."[1] He incorporated the predominant anthropological thinking of his time in making use of phenotypic and geographic attributes to reflect on mankind as a whole through various models and theories, including linking Africa's black race psychologically with the will and historically with the childhood of humanity; Asia's yellow-brown race psychologically with feeling and historically with the youth of humanity; Europe's white race psychologically with sense perception and thinking and historically with the maturity of humanity (though he described European humanity today as centered on overly abstract intellectuality which will need in future to become spiritualized); and America's red race with the old age of humanity.[2]

Some of Steiner's characterizations of racial, national, and ethnic character have been termed racist by critics.[3][4][2] Viewed in the historical context of the times, however, Steiner is more accurately regarded a racialist and not a racist in making use of race-like categories. Steiner sincerely believed that one should have no racial prejudice,[5] and emphasized that individuals should not be treated on the basis of their racial, ethnic or other group affiliation..."

What the heck happened to it? Are you into book burning or what?

Oh, and the health section: To Steiner, bad health often reflected the working out of one's "karmic destiny." Did he not write of such things? And the whole idea that we should not inoculate people for things because it might get in the way of their "karma"? In 1910, Steiner said, "We also understand why, among the best minds of our period, there exists a kind of aversion to vaccination. . . . [By giving inoculations, w]e are merely accomplishing something to which the person in question will himself have to produce a counterpart in a later incarnation. If we destroy the susceptibility to smallpox, we are concentrating only on the external side of karmic activity." (Steiner, Rudolf Karma of the Higher Beings in Manifestations of Karma Lecture 8, May 25th, 1910.) Well, I just think some of these things are important to the topic at hand and should be represented in the article. Your feeble attempts to hide what Herr Steiner really stood for are silly, trite, and laughable. Go ahead though, keep believing your lies, but it seems crappy that many of you try to cover up a lot of the quackery the old fart once spoke of, and then try to represent it (or misrepresent it) as something else while you goose-step along, farting to your own propaganda. You jerks can't hide the truth though! If such pseudoscience chicanery as an Astral body really exists, then your whole shady, goose-stepping Steiner Gestapo lot must be in a really sorry state of affairs! As Christopher Hitchens once said about another charlatan huckster quack, "I think it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to." So, put that in your pipe and smoke it! Fartbucket (talk) 07:36, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

The material that was removed was neither drawn from a book nor from any other third-party reviewed source, as required by the arbitration proceedings. Both non-peer reviewed material and original Steiner references were excluded by Wikipedia arbitrators; see Requests_for_arbitration/Waldorf_education/Review. The article references peer-reviewed, largely academic sources, the opposite of propaganda. If there is truth not represented here, it will surely be able to be found in a source that meets Wikipedia standards. Help find such sources! There are surprisingly many out there (see the reference list of the article already!) Hgilbert (talk) 13:30, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ Corinna Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, Johns Hopkins Press, ISBN 0-8018-7812-8, p. 103
  2. ^ a b Jana Husmann-Kastein: Schwarz-Weiß-Konstruktionen im Rassebild Rudolf Steiners, script of a talk. Critical Reflections during a conference about anthroposophy. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 21.07.2006, S. 17f.
  3. ^ [1]Transcript of a program on German TV
  4. ^ Arno Frank, "Einschüchterung auf Waldorf-Art", Die Tageszeitung Aug 4, 2000.
  5. ^ "Any racial prejudice hinders me from looking into a person's soul". Steiner, "Practical Perspectives", Knowledge of Higher Worlds

Silent Attack on Steiner Page?[edit]

I found a comment on my page from He removed my sourcing from this page. He told me that quotes from steiner can not be used on this page. He listed a arbitration for me to look at. I looked at it and not only did the arbitration not have to do with this page, but it also did not say that quotes from steiner were forbidden, or even discouraged... Like Really, a page about a person.... But only third person opinions can be used?... You are forbidden to quote from the horses mouth... Ya, what a "reasonable" way to write an article. Enough of that. What I did find in the arbitration is his name listed as a problematic poster. Could someone who knows the processes of wiki check up on him. It really stinks on this end. To be fair, I am sure I don't have the whole picture. Nothing would make me more happy than for someone to point out that this is really a misunderstanding and everything is above board. Knightt (talk) 23:10, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

It's not a misunderstanding. The long ugly story of the arbitration regarding these articles is too much to go into for me tonight. But no, the arbitration did not say we could not quote Steiner on these pages. It said we could not quote Steiner as a source to document something controversial, in other words, we can't say here that Waldorf education is the best kind of education there is because Rudolf Steiner said so. Obviously, they did not mean to suggest we could not ever quote Steiner in articles about Steiner. Hgilbert tried to play it that way for awhile, but eventually acknowledged that this was not so. Now, he'll just ignore this discussion if he can get away with it. I put a comment about this on his talk page not long ago but of course he didn't, and won't, reply unless forced to. Go for it!DianaW (talk) 02:39, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Ask him to show you where on that page it says we can't quote Steiner in these articles, or failing that, where *anywhere* an arbitrator said we couldn't quote Steiner. DianaW (talk) 02:44, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

See, this is your problem - you think you're in charge. You don't have some kind of role *enforcing* policies here, Hgilbert. That is when you cross the line. I know it is the anthroposophical mentality that all rightness and virtue is on your side, and others need you to police them, but that isn't the way wikipedia works.DianaW (talk) 01:16, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

We've been strongly encouraged to use peer-reviewed outside sources: "I also notice that these articles, despite the article probation, rely heavily on anthroposophy-published documents as sources, in spite of the arbitration ruling determining that they should be removed. Documents originating with anthroposophy, the Waldorf foundation, or Rudolph Steiner are not acceptable as sources either for claims that Waldorf is good, or for claims that Waldorf is bad. Things ranging from the complex (whether Steiner was racist) to the simple (whether Waldorf schools discourage parental communication) can not be sourced to primary documents. They are not considered reliable sources for several reasons. Generally if you are using Waldorf materials to describe the benefits etc., you run afoul of the self-serving limits of the reliable source policy, and if you are citing Waldorf documents to "prove" they have problems, you are violating the "interpreting primary sources to draw a conclusion is original research" limitation." Last chances
The quotes Knight added probably are acceptable, however, as they are not tendentious in either direction. We have been taking the comment "Things ranging from the the simple...cannot be sourced to primary documents." very seriously here; if you want to re-add your quotes and see how people react, go ahead. They are probably acceptable within the narrow terms of the above.
Please keep the tone of these discussions objective; this had been one of the worst problems here - people seem to go into personal attack mode at the drop of a hat. For a long time now, we have been able to avoid this apparently contagious illness - let's not sink back. Hgilbert (talk) 11:10, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I have removed a posting here that contravened the policy on No personal attacks, which states: "Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wikipedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will not help you make a point; they hurt the Wikipedia community and deter users from helping to create a good encyclopedia."
Note that the arbitration specifically frowns on using "documents originating with...Rudolf Steiner" for claims of worth and that "things ranging from the the simple...can not be sourced to primary documents." We have to interpret what is what here.

Hgilbert (talk) 20:35, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I beg your pardon, Hgilbert. Do not remove my comments from this talk page again. If you have a problem with something I post here, you either disucss it with me, or take it to an admin. If you remove my or anyone else's comments without discussion here again, I will take it to an admin. I'm putting it back below. And don't prove my point by sending me advice on my talk page, either - you're showing exactly the behavior I point out below, and it is *your* behavior that violates the guidelines here. Nobody appointed you guardian of manners and morals here.DianaW (talk) 01:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh, no worries, I'm sure if you try, you can behave properly, Hgilbert, we're willing to forget your past difficulties avoiding being smug and hypocritical and sanctimonious, and I'm sure you can learn to avoid the supercilious and paternalistic tone you have customarily used with other editors if you try.

Thank you for agreeing that the arbitration did not say we cannot quote Steiner on these pages.

It did say the following about you:

5) Hgilbert (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · block user · block log) is a teacher in a Waldorf school and a writer regarding the educational theories used at the Waldorf schools [17] [18]. His edits are strongly supportive of the Waldorf schools and their philosophy of education, see an early edit. He has also edited Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner and other related articles with a strong positive bias. He has made some edits to Homeopathy and related articles, but very few to other articles outside those related to Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf schools. DianaW (talk) 01:07, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

Um, shall we get back to discussing the article, and not the editors? Merci, EPadmirateur (talk) 04:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Wow, I was not expecting that much a response! Hgilbert re-posted on my page with the results of the arbitration. DianaW, you were right. My post was acceptable. Not only was it unrelated to waldorf but it also would have been acceptable even if it was a waldorf posting. The quote was simply to show how in biodynamic agriculture it is thought that inorganic fertilizers harm the soil.... Thanks for clearing this issue up with myself and hopefully the rest of the forum. Steiner is allowed to be quoted on a steiner page; one can not however use a steiner quote of him saying his education is the best in the world, to show how good the education is. Likewise, one can not quote anthroposophical sources to show how its the best in the world. This just makes sense and should be followed regardless of the arbitration. Although it was not arbitrated, likewise, other sources should not be quoted to show how bad the education is, like citing skeptic literature to show how f*cked up your children will become when falling into the cult of waldorf! I presume though that one could quote steiner to say how he thought his education to be the best.... But really... who cares what a founder thinks of this works.... They all think they are the best... right? Thanks for the clarification. Knightt (talk) 18:42, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I am happier than anyone that Steiner quotes can be used in this article for non-controversial areas, and that I appear to have overly strictly interpreted the rather drastic comments from the arbitrators about removing these. Thank you all for helping to clarify this! Hgilbert (talk) 00:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Quote Re-Added[edit]

I have re-added that quote. Please pear review me. (in biodynamic agriculture section)

The section needs some work on the flow. It appears to have been edited by many people. Perhaps I will do this later.Knightt (talk) 19:02, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

It would be best to find a third-party source for Steiner's claim that mineral fertilizers will cause the loss of nutritive value. Per the "Last Chance" ruling: "Rely on what independent third parties have published in reliable sources, and if they haven't published anything about a topic, take it out." A source that says: "Rudolf Steiner claimed that mineral fertilizers will cause the loss of nutritive value" would be best. However, since your wording includes that this was Steiner's belief, including the quotation is OK with me. --EPadmirateur (talk) 19:50, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. This quote was not intended to prove or disprove what actually happens to the soil with chemical or organic fertilizers. The thought was to help people to understand what the biodynamic practices are. This is after all what the article is about. It does not really seem to be the place to go into such specifics of if this or that specific aspect is backed by proof. Its a disputed topic on both sides. Not really sure I want to get into the argument. Besides, even if one side was able to "win" the debate, the more important thing can be told by farmers... Does it really work when followed... As far as I am concerned, this is the most important thing, and it can not really be reliably provided here anyhow. Wiki needs to be left to what it is good at. It might not be the whole story, but thats something we need to come to terms with. my own opinion Knightt (talk) 03:43, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

General questions[edit]

Not much about his private life, 1st and 2nd wife etc. what a pity! --House1630 (talk) 19:10, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, there's only so much one can squeeze in, and fairly little is known about his private life, if truth be told. Was there something specific we should include? Hgilbert (talk) 04:07, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

stray question[edit]

Why is this article listed under the freemasonry wikiproject? I was unaware of steiners importance to that group. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 23:45, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It is said that Rudolf Steiner was member of O.T.O. = Ordo Templi Orientis which was intended to be modelled after and associated with Freemasonry --House1630 (talk) 19:16, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Steiner led a branch of the Freemasons for a while (roughly 1904-14). Someone added this listing; it is not inappropriate as far as I can tell. What do you think? BTW, his OTO membership is very disputed; there seems to be no evidence for this other for claims made by Reuss, who made so many inaccurate claims about his esoteric groups that he probably should be discounted as a primary source. Hgilbert (talk) 04:06, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Biodynamic farms in India[edit]

This little information is perhaps on the wrong page, but never mind: "as of 2006 about one quarter of the farms in India have adopted biodynamic practices". Is this true? The reference is a Thomas Burstyn film, in the IMDb summary of it, biodynamics is described as "an arcane form of agriculture" which it obviously isn't. -- Hexmaster (talk) 07:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


I have moved the description of Steiner's views on the heart being a dynamic regulator rather than a mechanical pump from the controversies to the medicine section as there is no citation that relates this to any controversy.Hgilbert (talk) 00:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

How about fixing the bit where the current article claims that recent research has confirmed Steiner's views, even though the very paper linked in support does not actually support Steiner? The paper does not in any way, shape, or form say that the heart is not a pump. Nor does it say the heart is a 'dynamic regulator', whatever that means. What it actually says is that the pumping mechanism in the embryonic form of a vertebrate heart (which is very simple compared to the adult form of the heart, lacking valves and chambers) is not peristalsis, as previously thought. The paper proposes a different pumping mechanism, not no pumping at all. - Anonymous —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


User:Semitransgenic is requesting more balance to this article. We would also like to see more balance but we need acceptable reliable sources. As was said earlier regarding material that can be used for sources in this article:

[The material needs to be either] drawn from a book [or from some] other third-party reviewed source, as required by the arbitration proceedings. Both non-peer reviewed material and original Steiner references were excluded by Wikipedia arbitrators; see Requests_for_arbitration/Waldorf_education/Review. The article references peer-reviewed, largely academic sources, the opposite of propaganda. If there is truth not represented here, it will surely be able to be found in a source that meets Wikipedia standards. Help find such sources! There are surprisingly many out there (see the reference list of the article already!)

So please help find the sources. If no sources can be found, then the tag will need to come off (again). --EPadmirateur (talk) 19:32, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Also, User:Semitransgenic is calling for a "critique section" (Unbalanced until a critique section featuring a healthy degree of scepticism is in incorporated). This is not a recommended WP style. However, there is a section on controversies in the article, which includes the charges of racism and antisemitism. The critiques of Steiner's ideas or work, in my view, should be incorporated throughout the article, in the parts relevant to the skepticism that has been raised. One good place would be the Reception section which so far is entirely positive. --EPadmirateur (talk) 04:16, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I feel that the 'unbalanced' tag is inappropriate. I have not contributed to this article so am not defending any work of my own. It does seem to state very fairly many of the opinions and fields of interest that were Steiner's, and it does not state these matters as if they were general truths, but always as describing Steiner's outlook. That can, of course, always be enlarged or refined. But this request for scepticism suggests that the tagger is seeking some subjective assessment of the likely truth of Steiner's outlook, which is far beyond the remit of a wikipedia article (e.g. reasonable people should/should not accept Steiner's teachings or some such theme). It would probably elicit original research and synthesis, opening up a mare's nest of opinionated debate, and should in my opinion be DIScouraged. I would urge this tag to be removed immediately as it is likely to encourage someone to add material of that inappropriate kind. Eebahgum (talk) 06:52, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Unless there is some source (valid by the article's arbitration criteria) that is not included here, the unbalanced tag clearly has no justification. Such sources should be given before the tag is introduced. Hgilbert (talk) 19:18, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Can I suggest then that the reception section be expanded to include some form of dissension so that it may provide something of a challenge to the hagiographic material that currently resides there. Failure to outline extant scepticism simply exacerbates the allegation of WP:COI.
What evidence actually exists for the notion of supersensible sight?
Isn't Steiners' entire reading of history based on his personal clairvoyant excursions?
I mean what basis is there for a claim such as:
What is contained in the Vedas, the books of Indian wisdom, is not the original form of the exalted wisdom fostered by these great teachers in ancient times, but only a feeble echo of it. Only supersensible sight can look back to the unrecorded original wisdom behind what was written. Steiner: Outline of Esoteric Science p. 255
What evidence exists to support these views?
Have any of his esoteric theories been proven to have a basis in consensual reality?
Also, throughout the article the expression "the spiritual world" is used in a manner that implies that it's existence is undisputed, for instance "Steiner articulated an ongoing stream of experiences of the spiritual world" he met a simple herb gatherer, Felix Kogutski, who spoke about the spiritual world. Just because Steiner says a spirit worlds exists is not reason enough to assert the existence of a spirit world in an encyclopedic entry.
In Hammer's Claiming Knowledge we have an assessment that claims negative views of science are found throughout Steiners work, as are negative views of materialism; something Steiner believed "is the result of the influence of Ahrimanic spirits, and increases in strength every time Halley's comet enters the earthly sphere".
Semitransgenic (talk) 09:49, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

There is an extensive critical section in the Anthroposophy#Reception_of_anthroposophy article; I have cross-linked to this. I have also added material to this from Hammer, per your comments. Given the cross-link, and other users' comments, can you see your way to removing the tag?

In any case, I suggest that you continue to add (or recommend) other assessments, but the critiques above seem to be your personal ones rather than material we could add to the article - or can you find supporting documentation? Hgilbert (talk) 15:06, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Hardly what one would descirbe as an "extensive critical section". So a quote from Hammer has been chosen; but it simply demonstrates the bias that exits here. In terms of personal views they are not simply my own. Please now accept that the challenge to this article relates to the presentation of non-science as science, in an encyclopedic conext. For the sake of convienience a section from the Intelligent Design page is pasted below, relevant in light of the claims that Steiners methods (and results) are scientific. The words intelligent design have been replaced with Steiner's theories:

Defining science[edit]

The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge of the natural world without assuming the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural, an approach sometimes called methodological naturalism. For a theory to qualify as scientific it is expected to be:

  • Consistent
  • Parsimonious (sparing in its proposed entities or explanations, see Occam's Razor)
  • Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena, and can be used predictively)
  • Empirically testable and falsifiable (see Falsifiability)
  • Based on multiple observations, often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments
  • Correctable and dynamic (modified in the light of observations that do not support it)
  • Progressive (refines previous theories)
  • Provisional or tentative (is open to experimental checking, and does not assert certainty)

For any theory, hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet most, and ideally all, of these criteria. The fewer criteria are met, the less scientific it is; and if it meets only a few or none at all, then it cannot be treated as scientific in any meaningful sense of the word. Typical objections to defining Steiners' theories as science are that they lack consistency, violate the principle of parsimony, are not scientifically useful, are not falsifiable, are not empirically testable, are not correctable, dynamic, tentative or progressive (by asserting conclusions that cannot be accounted for scientifically, Steiner's theories cannot be sustained by any further explanation, and objections raised to those who accept Steiner's theories make little headway. Thus Steiner's theories are not provisional assessments of data which can change when new information is discovered. Once it is claimed that a conclusion that need not be accounted for has been established, there is simply no possibility of future correction. The idea of the progressive growth of scientific ideas is required to explain previous data and any previously unexplainable data). In light of the apparent failure of Steiner's theories to adhere to scientific standards, in September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying "Steiner's theories are fundamentally unscientific; they cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of supernatural agents".

PZ Myers and other critics also say that Steiner's theories do not meet the Daubert Standard the criteria for scientific evidence mandated by the Supreme Court. The Daubert Standard governs which evidence can be considered scientific in United States federal courts and most state courts. Its four criteria are:

  • The theoretical underpinnings of the methods must yield testable predictions by means of which the theory could be falsified.
  • The methods should preferably be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • There should be a known rate of error that can be used in evaluating the results.
  • The methods should be generally accepted within the relevant scientific community.

Semitransgenic (talk) 16:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Dear Semitransgenic, you are answering your own question. This article does not anywhere intentionally assert the existence of the spiritual world. I think it would be almost impossible to discuss Steiner's beliefs without mentioning the word 'spirit', but I cannot agree with you that the expression is used here to imply that its existence is undisputed. It is simply used because it is a concept in which Steiner believed and about which he wrote, and therefore not to mention it would be an error of omission, and would make it impossible to discuss his ideas. Nobody is saying they were in an absolute sense correct or false, that's not the job of a biographical article.
Negative views of science and materialism took a strong hold on western philosophy at least since Bishop Berkeley and Arthur Schopenhauer - (philosophical pessimism) - and are influenced by Vedic tradition: and so what you say Hammer says about Steiner is really no more than placing Steiner in a tradition of thought. As for supersensible sight, the Vedic knowledge, Atlantis, the Akashic Record etc, of course one cannot use this article about the life and thought of Steiner to prove or disprove these things. If the article asserts those thing to be absolute truths, then it needs slightly rewording (but I don't really think it does assert that). But Steiner's ideas should not be expunged from the article on Steiner simply because many people don't think they can now be proved. In the same way you wouldn't write an article about Carl Gustav Jung without mentioning the Collective Unconscious, but it doesn't mean you have to believe in it to read about it. I confess I actually don't know what you mean by consensual reality. Are any two people really in absolute agreement about everything?
That's why, like every wikipedia article, the text uses bluelinks to take the reader to other pages in which some of these concepts come into sharper focus. Steiner certainly didn't originate these ideas in the west. Levi's Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, for instance, was transcribed from the Akashic Records before 1911: and while a discussion about the relationship between the thought of Madame Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner might certainly be stimulating, it would make the Steiner article very unreadable. There's no problem with wikipedia reflecting the scepticism you are describing, but this article is not the place to go into it in detail. For that, you need to go to the pages where the pros and cons of those ideas are set out, and even then it is a question of what has been written and discussed in print, and not what we may privately think about the matter, that can go into a wikipedia article. But here, this is the page where it tells you who Rudolf Steiner was and what he thought and did. It may express ideas you don't think can be justified, but is it really unbalanced in telling us what Steiner thought? That's the question you have raised. Best wishes, Eebahgum (talk) 15:54, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I was in the middle of editing the above when you entered that. The objection is not with presenting an overview of the man and his thoughts it is with the manner in which any slighty "negative" of "sceptical" views are weasled out of the picture, either directly or through WP:SYN. The use of the cherry picked Hammer quote being a clear example of this. There are many pages on WIKI with this issue particularly belief based articles, so Steiner's is one of many. You appear to have unfailing belief in esoteria, I simply question the wisdom of this and object to the use of an encyclopedia as a means to manipulate perspectives. Semitransgenic (talk) 16:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I have no particular belief in esoteria, I have weasled nothing, I have manipulated nothing. The term Christian Science is an historical one. I am not a pro-Steiner person defending his world-view against your material-scientific stance, I am a wikipedia editor trying to explain that whatever you (or I) may find acceptable or unacceptable about Steiner's belief system and its terminology has no place in a wikipedia article about what Steiner claimed to believe. The statement about his beliefs should be neither positive nor negative, only precise: there should be no "negative" or "sceptical" views because there should be NO views. The bluelinks enable any reader to ascertain what the concepts discussed are supposed to be, and to form their own judgement. You are quite right - belief-based articles in wikipedia DO have to state the nature of the belief they describe - and are NOT the place to introduce a critique of that belief. One would not, for instance, use the Wikipedia articles on Christianity or Islam or Judaism to point out flaws (as perceived by editors) in those belief systems, nor in the language they use to describe them. Unless, of course, you intend to introduce a commentary into the article on Christianity explaining how it is impossible for the dead to be resurrected? Eebahgum (talk) 17:26, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
wasn't accusing you of weasling, that was in reference to cherry picked Hammer quote. Not about introducing "negative" or "sceptical" views, about presenting opposing views, if they exist (and they do), neutrally. You are suggesting here that Rudolph Steiner in some way approaches the significance of a number of major religions, not sure that is a good idea, this is the biography of a person, therefore a section presenting oppositional material is acceptable and is indeed quite common across wikipedia, particularly if the individuals ideas are seen as controversial (or at least questionable) by some. Semitransgenic (talk) 17:55, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
OK, I've gone through Hammer's Claiming Knowledge and brought into the article everything that I can see might be relevant. Note that this is getting close to giving Hammer undue weight, as other sources are cited far more sparingly.Hgilbert (talk) 22:24, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
regarding undue weight note: Now an important qualification: Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all.We are not seeing a comparison of views in the article. Also, the subject has minority interest to begin with, thats why there are only a handful of credible external perspectives of this subject available. Basically, the article says, Steiner did this, Steiner believed that etc. There are three possible repsonses to this, one accepts as valid Steiners world view, the second dismisses it outright, and the third simply contextualises Steiners theories in relation to other scientifically based practices (and this, as Hammer points out, is where the problem lies for Steiner because he sought to validate his theories within said context). The Defining science section above sums up the third response. Hammer is simply articulating this position, he did not fabricate it to begin with; therefore how could you possibly give it undue weight when compared to Steiners theories, it has a majority stake. Semitransgenic (talk) 14:30, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Semitransgenic, thanks for adding your perspective here. You mention "opposing views, if they exist (and they do)". Can you suggest any other quotes from Hammer or any other sources that can be added to the article for balance? --EPadmirateur (talk) 22:52, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
there are items referenced in Hammer which I have yet to see in person, what Hammer has to say on page 340, paragraph 1, line 10 should be mentioned, and the questions raised regarding Steiners visions (pp. 426-427) are noteworthy. Semitransgenic (talk) 22:42, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
There are a few things here that are perhaps usable: above all, the claim that followers of anthroposophy have not achieved a comparable level of spiritual vision, and perhaps the reference to the "reversed" path, whereby one studies the results first and then does further research. (This is also the expected path of natural science, by the way; no one does research who has not first studied what has been already established in the field. Does this "indoctrination" (humorous translation: achieving a doctorate) make scientific results less valid, or put into question the system by which scientists are trained - they are not left to their naive perception?)
What appears on pp. 426-7 seems less valuable. There, Hammer gives two concrete examples of the limits of Steiner's vision; that he did not respond to a challenge to translate Linear B and that his claim that the royal castle at Tintagel dates back to the 6th century is disputed by Colin Wilson.
  • As regards the former claim, Steiner never claimed to be able to translate any known language. This is like disputing Einstein's value as a scientist because he never solved the problem of quantum physics.
  • As regards the second claim, it is no longer valid; contemporary research accepts that there was in Tintagel a reinforced settlement, quite possibly a royal fortress, in the 5th-6th centuries. Wilson was not an archaeologist, and his claim has been falsified, not Steiner's. (Note that Steiner's full claim has not been proved: there was something that could well have been a royal castle but nobody knows whether it was this or something else or whether there was - or wasn't - a King Arthur at that time).
Finally, Hammer objects to Steiner's claims that he could achieve objective truth on a path of spiritual research on the basis that this implies infallible truth. Hammer clearly confuses objectivity and infallibility; Steiner claimed objectivity but emphasized that that his research was fallible. Technically we can report Hammer's objection but it seems to me so wrong-headed as to apply equally to natural science, which also purports to provide a method to arrive at "objective truth". This is simply (in neither case) equivalent to a claim that all the results of this method are valid; in Steiner's case, he makes this distinction explicitly. Nota bene: If you want to add something about Hammer's claim, I will accept it as conforming to Wikipedia's rules of verifiability, however. Hgilbert (talk) 14:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be useful to see a couple of the points Hammer raises, denial of the influennce of Blavatsky et al for instance, the Wilson issue I know nothing about.If Steiner did mention the potential fallibility of his research perhaps this should be mentioned also. Semitransgenic (talk) 14:41, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you have a page number for the Blavatsky reference? Hgilbert (talk) 02:33, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It's p. 65: "Despite the fact that theosophy is the single major source of his doctrines, Steiner even denied ever having been influenced by Blavatsky or Besant." --EPadmirateur (talk) 02:40, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

lecture list[edit]

The lecture list states that the list is of subjects as listed by the publisher, but many subjects (e.g. covering art) listed in the publisher's classification are missing here. Is the list helpful and appropriate? Should it be complete? Representation is extremely uneven. How do we want to go forward here? I've undertaken a bit of initial cleanup. Hgilbert (talk) 19:43, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't Uwe Buermann's book belong in the "other authors" section? Shouldn't lectures to the workmen go to the end of the General Anthroposophy section, as least important? The lectures titled "Knowledge of the State Between..." can't be dated 1926.
I think the list is very good but I note some "notable" or "popular" lecture series that are missing.
  • I would think there would be at least 2-3 other books on Waldorf education listed (e.g. Soul Economy). All of the main lecture series on education are available on-line as PDFs on the Steinerbooks web site.
  • Also, under science, perhaps include the "Warmth Course" and "The Boundaries of Natural Science".
  • Under general lectures to members "At the Gates of Spiritual Science", "The Universal Human".
  • Under Karma, of course the "Karmic Relationships" series.
  • Under lectures for the Christian Community, there are 3 main lecture series, one of them on the Apocalypse.
  • I am not very familiar with the lectures on threefold social organism, but the lectures listed there don't sound like the most important ones (maybe those are the published books).
Perhaps "Fundamentals of Therapy" should be listed with Ita Wegman as co-author. I don't think the lists are too long but if they were deemed too long for this article, perhaps make them into a sub-article. Regarding relative lengths of articles, here are some amusing observations. --EPadmirateur (talk) 04:59, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

misplaced text[edit]

The following text was added but would properly belong in the Steiner education article: "According to the Good Schools Guide International, 'Teachers in a Steiner school "seek to recognise the unique individuality of every child, and through the curriculum, develop clarity of thought, sensitivity of feeling and strength. The method of education seeks art and science as two pathways to truth, bringing fullness and nourishment to people who pursue them."'[1]" Hgilbert (talk) 20:37, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I disagree that the section this was added to was on Steiner's own education, since the section is about the founding of Waldorf education. However, I agree that it's out of place in this article and would be better as another "Reception by educationalists" in Waldorf education. I'll add it there in somewhat shorter form. --EPadmirateur (talk) 21:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I've decided not to add this reference because the list itself does not appear to be a very reliable source, I can't find any specific Steiner or Waldorf schools listed (after a brief try), and the quotation itself appears to be very much generic and brochure-like. In short I don't think this reference comes up to the level needed for WP. --EPadmirateur (talk) 22:08, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry; you're right about the section. Good Schools Guide has a notable reputation; perhaps it belongs in the links section. Hgilbert (talk) 13:37, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Steiner as hermeticist[edit]

For support that Steiner could be considered a hermeticist, see Bamford's book What is Anthroposophy, p. 10-11 Hgilbert (talk) 20:25, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Bamford's intro is not an acceptable source, strictly speaking, and he is making a broad equivalence between Hermeticism and Western esotericism. Yes, one can make the case that there is a thread from the earlier Hermetic traditions through Goethe to Steiner. My objection was based on a reading of the article Hermeticism where this thread is far from clear. I guess an equally strong case can be made that Steiner took his inspiration and knowledge directly from the "spiritual world" and therefore is not connected in an "earthly" way via any books, etc. to any prior teachings or traditions. Given the information from the Bamford introduction, I no longer have an objection to this category. --EPadmirateur (talk) 21:00, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Bamford is of course an acceptable source for non-controversial matters...BTW the case that Steiner was not influenced by teachings or traditions is severely undermined firstly by his own frequent reference to such teachings and traditions and secondly by research into his sources (Zander being the most extreme here) that shows how closely his presentations parallel those of other thinkers whose works he had demonstrably read; if someone presents ideas extremely similar to those in an annotated book in that person's library it is pretty difficult to plausibly claim that that person has come to these ideas independently. hgilbert (talk) 18:15, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, but it's always hard to tell exactly where Steiner received his information/inspiration. I'll restore the hermeticist category. --EPadmirateur (talk) 19:39, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


This article is a fraud. It attempts to hide Steiner's racist views. Quotes that Steiner made extolling the superiority of blond haired blue eyed people are always edited out. Steiner apologists are racist apologists. They enable racism. Steiner is also listed as a philosopher in the opening paragraph (which appears to be uneditable) when anthroposophy is clearly a religion. State funding of Waldorf schools depends on this finesse.

The Steiner apologists/cultists hae gotten control of this article. Inevitable isn't it?

Adjustments will be made elsewhere; there is more than one way to skin a cat....

Enjoy the ride folks. I'll be editing this article from a public library computer for many years to come. And any other Steiner/Waldorf b.s. that I find.

If you don't like it, too bad - I don't like racists, and I will not allow them to spew their filthy garbage on Wikipedia without some form of retaliation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:50, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Please find verifiable sources for proposed edits. This is an encyclopedia. hgilbert (talk) 16:25, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

No. When I make perfectly legitimate additions to the Steiner text with sources, they get erased by the Steiner zealots. This Wiki article is biased from the start when it dares to call Anthroposophy "spiritual science" instead of a religion. And of course Steiner's racist views have been filtered. Funny isn't it that Steiner actually contributed to the destruction of his own people in the Holocaust by adding his vile racist views to all the others infesting Germany at that time. The contortions made by Steiner zealots to explain away his racist comments are something to behold. I am not fooled by their sleight of hand. The thing is, i don't even find Steiner that objectionable, but if the truth is going to be suppressed then you have a big problem on your hands and that problem is ME. By the way, you're gonna have to scour Wikipedia for my edits - don't think I just confined them to two or three articles. And when editing is allowed again, I'll be back editing the probationary articles as well. When the single quote that I originally inserted (re blond hair and blue eyes) is returned, i shall cease my edits. Whoever took that out - HOW DARE YOU?!? - is a moral coward and racist apologist. I will not let it stand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry; you've missed some history here. A Wikipedia arbitration ruling (see top of talk page) states that for all pages relating to anthroposophy, controversial material must be sourced to third-party, objective sources - and not, for example, to Steiner's works. This was a reaction to both sides quoting Steiner to their purposes; quotations making it clear that he had racialist views and those making it clear he was sharply against racism were both declared out of bounds. Find authors published by mainstream, preferably academic presses, and use their insights. We're all on the same footing here, and have to abide by these rules. It's been a stretch for everybody, believe me. hgilbert (talk) 03:40, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Randomly trashing articles is not a good way to work cooperatively to improve Wikipedia. Your original edit was made in good faith. I removed it with the explanation that it violated the Arbitration Committee's ruling about articles related to Waldorf education and Rudolf Steiner. The ArbCom ruling was a result of significant conflict in these articles, in particular the back and forth of "dueling quotations" from Steiner.
The Arbitration Committee ruled that "Editors of this [article] are expected to remove all original research and other unverifiable information, including all controversial information sourced in Anthroposophy related publications." (see top of this page). This means that all quotations from Steiner and in fact all material from anthroposophical publications may not be included or used as a reference. All statements about Steiner need to be taken from verifiable, reliable sources. Reliable sources in particular are third-party that contain no original research -- it needs to be from a published reliable source, generally an academic journal or non-anthroposophically published book.
As User:Hgilbert noted earlier, "Please find verifiable sources for proposed edits. This is an encyclopedia." If you can find such sources, then what they say can be added. And please do.
Regarding the particular quotation that you originally put in, proponents of Rudolf Steiner would say (and have argued here) that the quote has been doctored (parts taken from different parts of the lecture) to make it look like Steiner is saying a particular thing. They would also say (and have argued here) that the entire quotation is taken out of context, that Steiner concluded in the lecture exactly the opposite of what that quotation implies. In particular, Steiner argued that blond people generally tend to be weaker than more dark-haired and dark-eyed people and will die out faster. And that will be a good thing because their form of materialistic intellectuality needs to become weaker so that a more spiritually oriented understanding can grow in humanity, by way of the dark-haired people. So they would contend that the quotation you added is completely distorted.
Of course, you disagree. But that sort of "dueling quotation" disagreement led to the need for an ArbCom ruling. I would suggest that you take a more constructive stance with respect to Wikipedia. If you don't like what another editor has done, you can question the action on the article's talk page or on the specific user's talk page. Wikipedia editors generally are a reasonable group of people who are willing to assume good faith and try to work out compromises that will satisfy everyone. --EPadmirateur (talk) 03:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I disagree, and I find you to be disingenuous. That whole section of the article regarding race and Judaism reads like this: "Well, yeah sure, Steiner did have a couple of views on race that are possibly objectionable, but, hey, look at all this other stuff that says he wasn't a racist and that he really did support the Jewish people - see, it's okay!" And there it ends. It is an apology for his views. And you repeat this exercise in your above comments! It's unbelievable! This article as it stands *does* whitewash his racist comments in contradiction to your assertion. It is not balanced. His racist views are presented in cold, unemotional language and only briefly. This is followed by an overwhelmingly large amount of text explaining why he wasn't really a racist. This is the way YOU have set it up.

I've read the context of Steiner's comments on the intelligence of blond haired people and that context changes nothing. But apologists twist words and ideas and make illogical transitions so they can rationalize these statements away. I am not fooled however. Sorry!

As a person who does not have blond hair and blue eyes and who also pays taxes to support Waldorf education, I want that information out there.

But YOU removed it. I ask again, "How dare you?" How do YOU get to make this article an apology for Steiner's crackpot views? How is it that the Steiner apologists such as yourself have control over Wikipedia?

And this Anthroposophy issue.... a spiritual science? WTF kind of science is that? I've got news for you: it's called "religion." That's what religion is - a spiritual "science" or philosophy. But of course there is more fine tuning of vocabulary by the Steiner proponents so that Waldorf can continue to receive tax money.

By the way, I am not affiliated with PLANS or anything (discovered it yesterday in fact); I don't even say that Waldorf schools should not receive my tax money. But I am sick and tired of people distorting and hiding the truth.

These Steiner "proponents" seem more like a cult than a group of intellectuals. I'm beginning to understand why an organization like PLANS exists. And I think I will donate for their upcoming court issues. Have a nice day. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Steiner also said, "someone speaking today of the ideal of races and nations and of tribal affiliation speaks of decadent impulses of humanity....through nothing will humanity be brought more into decadence than if the ideals of race, nation and blood continue to hold sway." (lecture of 26 October 1917) He was clearly against racism, though he perceived differences between races that may well have been culturally determined (100 years ago things looked a lot different than they do today). Nobody is prejudging content here, just find verifiable sources and include them here. hgilbert (talk) 15:37, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I think the dispute relates to two meanings of racism. One is epistemological and the other is political. Epistemological racism means that an author admits that human races trully exist, they can be defined, etc., without necessarily implying that a race is superior to another race. E.g. affirmative action produces positive discrimination for people who are defined as belonging to groups that have been historically disadvantaged, e.g. African-Americans, cf. Allan Bloom's argument in in The Closing of the American Mind, Part One. Students. Relationships. Race. pp. 91-97 in an 1987 Simon & Schuster paperback. Bloom speaks against political racism from a conservative-libertarian viewpoint. But, he makes an argument that African-Americans produced the inflation of their own university diplomas. In such meaning, he considers the African-Americans as a politically organized social group, which is defined by the ethnic (racial) origin of its members.
Political racism is a view which includes epistemological racism and it adds to it the claim that one race, defined as the superior race, has to conquer, oppress and/or exterminate all other races.
Steiner may be considered a racist in the epistemological meaning (since he admits that races trully exist, i.e. they are different in characteristics) but not in the political meaning. For a man educated in the 19th century, racism was more or less self-understood. E.g. my teacher of sociology of science, dr. Olga Amsterdamska, affirmed that all people like Fisher and others who devised the statistical tests used by sociologists today, they were racists through and through. She says this was simply due to the mainstream ideas of the 19th century, rather than with advocating a political fight against races defined as inferior. They were Social Darwinists, just like the majority of US sociologists at the beginnings of the 20th century, but they were not Nazis or Fascists.
Further, on the social and intellectual status of Rudolf Steiner:
Steiner began his career as a respected scholar, working at a scientifical edition of the works of Goethe. His philosophical writings are in no way inferior to other top philosophers of his own time.
Gerard Galtier, in La Maçonnerie égyptienne, Rose Croix et néo-chevalerie says that dr. Rudolf Steiner was a 33 and 95 degree Mason, authorized by the John Yarker and through a charta signed by Theodore Reuss to open a German Sovereign Sanctuary for the Rite of Memphis and Misraim.
According to Daniel van Egmond, "Western Esoteric Schools in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century", in: Roelof van den Broek and Wouter J. Hanegraaff (eds.), Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times, Albany: State University of New York Press 1998, 311-346, the Theosophy and later Anthroposophy were sapiential (higher knowledge) schools for the elite (higher degrees) of the Freemasonry. Theosophy and Anthroposophy were Masonic experiments aimed at giving laymen (prophanes) an insight into the aims of Freemasonry, and at educating the future leaders of Freemasonry, as a place wherein prophanes and Masons alike meet each other in striving for the same purposes.
As written in its statues, among the purposes of the Theosophical Society was that of furthering religious understanding and ethnic tolerance as tools for shaping a global awareness. It may be argued that Guido von Liszt and Jorg Lanz simply took over Theosophical teachings, which were epistemologically racist, gave them the millitant racist political meaning, and built the proto-nazist movements based on such ideology. But, this means that the doctrines aimed at producing tolerance and understanding for the mind of the people of the 19th century (by definition either racist or class-fighters) were taken out of their context and reshaped in order to fit an imperialist agenda.
According to Galtier, the conflict between theosophists and anthroposophers was not about political racism, but about integrating non-Christian (pagan) viewpoints and religions in the Rosicrucian (18th) Masonic degree. Theosophists considered that the 18th degree should be open to all religions, and become bereft of its exclusive Christian character, while anthroposophists considered that the 18th degree should remain strictly based upon Christian myths and upon the rituals of Christian chivalry orders. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Hgilbert, I know how things looked a hundred years ago, and they looked a hell of a lot worse in Germany than in other European countries. And Steiner was part of that sad movement that attempted to assert the mental superiority of blue/blond white people. However, Steiner clearly saw the writing on the wall for Jewish people so i am not impressed by your quote at all. It's self-serving (and I think you know this - talk about quoting out of context! - hypocrisy noted). Jewish people were increasingly becoming a target well back into the 19th century (at the very least) and the animosity was increasing. It didn't just suddenly begin on Crystal Night as you well know. Now under the strict definition of racism I might have to agree that Steiner was not a racist as he wielded no power against those he considered mentally inferior. But he was a bigot for sure. And his writings are a mix of deep intellectual consideration and ridiculous assertion made by a know-it-all boor with an out-of-control ego. His explanations on race are a complete joke and an affront to true scientific inquiry. Perhaps awareness of this nonsense would allow a rational person to assess Steiner's other writings more carefully. And of course all of this is important because there is a worldwide movement based on selective interpretation of his writings.

I find it mildly amusing that the solution to this dilemma is the exclusion of direct quotes from the subject of the article. Not an ideal condition for a Wikipedia article really. I would suggest a different solution that allows an article to have two "pathways" on a given controversial subject. It would be beneficial for the debate to be aired as part of the article itself because indeed that debate is very much a part of the Steiner legacy. Displaying the controversy on these discussion pages is simply to bury it. And of course complete objectivity (Wikipedia's goal I presume) is pretty much impossible.

This technique of only allowing third party quotes from academic publishers is biased from the start. Naturally, most of the published writings on Steiner are written by his proponents and apologists and also by Waldorf proponents.

Issues on race and culture are very much a part of modern times as our world shrinks. It behooves contemporary writers and thinkers to address these issues if they wish relevance in their own time. (Perhaps I'll take a look at the entries for Dickens and Walter Scott and see if there is any mention of their bigoted portrayal of Jewish people! Should Jewish people read Dickens and suffer Fagin unforewarned?)

I will cease my destructive editing of articles on Wikipedia due to my respect for the scope and vision of the Wikipedia project. And as a donor and a frequent user of WPedia I would be working against my own interests. Looks like the Steiner cultists win again. And it's always the winners that get to rewrite history.

If any of what I have written here is in error, please forgive - the nutrition has slipped from my brain into my hair and eyes (making them brown) and I cannot keep up with intellectual giants of a lighter hue. :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a note: the administrators' solution was not proposed by any of the editors of the article, but simply as a reliable encyclopedia's best approach. It has certainly led to increasing objectivity in all parts of the article; the down side is that aspects for which reliable sources cannot be found are simply not represented. BTW: Sorry to hear about the nutritional deficits ;) - I'm afraid my hair and eyes are probably darker than yours, however, so I should probably be worried too. hgilbert (talk) 20:03, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
About the message by I hope you don't consider me Steiner's cultist. I am not his supporter, but I believe that in an encyclopedia, facts have priority over our partisanships. So, I am prepared to admit merrits based upon facts, rather than quarrel about quotes. In general, the writings of an author could be invoked to prove the thesis as well the antithesis, since for humans it is very difficult to avoid contradicting themselves, when they are expressing their views in more than 1000 pages. It is like quoting Shakespeare's plays in order to make the case for the thesis, then quoting another character from the same script in order to make the case for the antithesis. My view of Steiner's teachings is that, seen the context of occult teachings, Steiner was a master in producing an occult teaching. This does not mean that everything he said was true. It simply means that Steiner understood what it needs in order to be a spiritual master, and he did it brilliantly. If you want to condemn Steiner as having racial prejudices, then you have condemned a whole epoch of Western history, and Steiner looses his peculiar bigotted character in an age defined by racial prejudices. If you want to attack Steiner's teachings, a more straightforward point is that he rejected atomism. I cannot take for the messenger of God a person who rejects atomism. At the end of his life, he could follow the scientific debate which imposed atomism, so he could have retracted his attack upon atomism. The dogmatic character of the Anthroposophical Society lies in the idea that they still consider that somehow Steiner was right about everything, including atomism (if we remove the claim of absolute knowledge from occultism, there is not much left for believing in an occult teaching). In fact, Steiner being educated and having developped his mind in an intellectual environment wherein atomism was an oddity (at least till he reached intellectual maturity), he simply reflected the mainstream ideas received during his formation as a scholar. So, his racial prejudices and his view of atomism were simply a reflection of the ideas of his own epoch. Through such views, he is simply a rank-and-file intellectual of his epoch, an intellectual "star" or "guru". So your attack upon Steiner's racial prejudices is utterly banal. In his Occult Science he spoke of human races which will form in further evolution of the Earth, some superior races and some inferior races, but he added that the task of the superior races will be (in this far future) to attempt to uplift the lower human races to their own level. Not through Social Darwinism, but by offering them their help, out of love for beings less fortunate than they are, even at the point wherein superior beings sacrifice their evolution in order to help lower beings (kind of boddhisattva oath...). So, he could have been prejudiced in this respect, but he was not a political racist as the emerging Nazi movement was. His prejudices were so ordinary that they do not deserve being attacked. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:18, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Perhaps I missed it but I don't see where anyone called Steiner a Nazi. Was that a red herring you just put in there to confuse things? "His prejudices were so ordinary that they do not deserve being attacked" -- Attacked? He's dead, remember, and his racial prejudices are discredited, at least in polite company. However, in regards to his racial prejudices he was not an unremarkable exemplar of his age. Racism based on skin color and anti-semitism were both recognized as problems and discussed in the Germany of his day. In rejecting the more civilized positions and embracing the ugly racialist views, I am assuming that he made conscious choices. My main point, however, is to agree that the presentation of his views on race in the Article is deficient. Two bullet points for his reprehensible commentary but four on statements by him that contradict the above -- why this imbalance? That the Nazis tried to smear him as Jewish is irrelevant trivia and it appears that it was put in to make Steiner appear in a better light.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. And Steiner himself wrote a number of articles discrediting anti-Semitism, which were published in a journal by the then-equivalent of the Jewish Defence League. The controversy around Steiner's views from this time (1890s) through the 1940s, at least, centered on his radically anti-racist ideas, and this should also be represented fairly. His early defense of Dreyfuss, and attacks on anti-semitism, and insistence that race was a subordinate influence - that a person's individual nature was more influential than his or her ethnic/racial background - were in the forefront of controversy in this time period, and this is documented. In the last few decades the other side of Steiner's racial/ethnic ideas - his suggestions that there are differences between races and ethnic groups as groups - plays a larger role.
I wonder how many people there were at Steiner's time (especially in Central Europe) who really thought there were absolutely no differences between the races (other than skin color) - as opposed to those who believed that all races should be treated equally (as Steiner). This has led to the differentiation between racists - people who advocate treating people differently based upon their race (Steiner never did) - and racialists - people who believe there are differences between the races (which Steiner clearly did). His position on the latter has become entirely outdated, of course, and critiques of this are due and should be included. We should balance the fact that he stood out at his time as someone who spoke out strongly against racism and antisemitism (thus the Nazi smears) and the fact that in our time many of his statements stand out as being racially loaded/prejudicial. hgilbert (talk) 15:36, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • People who write at the start of their reply to me "Indeed" but then try to twist my words into something I never said get big points from me for intellectual honesty… NOT. His ugly racialist views were considered by many to be reprehensible in his time, never mind about the 2008 perspective. Apparently (I did not know about this) there is an ArbCom decision that his own words may not be quoted here. I'm trying to think of a more clueless decision but having trouble to come up with one.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 16:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Can you cite any of the "many"? BTW, I was agreeing with your statement that many people of Steiner's time already were battling racism - and then adding some more aspects of the situation. I didn't mean to imply that these reflected your thoughts; sorry if you thought I did! hgilbert (talk) 18:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Franz Boas, who published, in German, in Steiner's lifetime. Karl May. Their views on race were diametrically opposed from the racialist statements made by steiner. Also the writings by people such as Daniel Defoe, Rousseau, or Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. It would be inaccurate to excuse the racialist views held by Steiner views as having been unopposed in his day and age. --Goodmorningworld (talk) 20:14, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I must have misunderstood; I thought you were asserting that people during his lifetime considered Steiner's views to be racist. This is demonstrably not the case, of course; rather the reverse. Let's go back to finding verifiable sources, shall we? hgilbert (talk) 01:32, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Eh? Now why would you think that I said something that I did not say? I never used the word "racist" in reference to Steiner. Please pay attention and do not put words into my mouth. Do you want me to use shorter sentences? Very well, I will. Steiner held racialist views. These views were not unopposed in his time. Hence it would be inaccurate to excuse him as having been unopposed. Opposing views did exist. He must have been aware of those views, therefore he made a moral choice.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 15:14, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
BTW: Boas is, though one of the best of his time, not without similar flaws; according to this source, Boas' 1914 German edition of Kultur und Rasse ends with a "call for racial hygiene" (viz. Steiner's similar appeal some years later)! And Boas compares "white" and "primitive" peoples (meaning other races of the present day) in The Mind of Primitive Man. It appears that it was difficult for even the most enlightened people of the time to transcend race, and to use a vocabulary we would find acceptable a few decades after they wrote. hgilbert (talk) 01:43, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I was saying "His prejudices were so ordinary that they do not deserve being attacked", but this was in the context of speaking about the prejudices of that epoch and about their ordinary (common) character. I was not making the appology of racialism or racism. So the accent was on: epoch, prejudices, ordinary character. To put another accent is a sophism. All people of all times are bigotted and prejudiced by some standard, especially if the died long ago. So, in this aspect, nobody (who is prejudiced) is different from anybody else (who is prejudiced, too). E.g. racial(ist) classification of offenders seems to be/have been customary among American police forces. 13:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tgeorgescu (talkcontribs)

"I find it mildly amusing that the solution to this dilemma is the exclusion of direct quotes from the subject of the article. Not an ideal condition for a Wikipedia article really." No, it isn't good, but the Steiner apologists understood that it was the best they could do here, and they accept willingly that they can't quote Steiner, because if any Steiner quotes are allowed in, the incriminating Steiner quotes can't be excluded, they simply accept this tradeoff for strategic purposes.DianaW (talk) 20:17, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

"Looks like the Steiner cultists win again." The Steiner cultists have absolutely won on wikipedia, no question, and critics will never fix it without a much larger and more coordinated team editing the articles than we have been able to muster so far. (And even speaking honestly of such a strategy is a faux-pas, but I prefer honesty, so I let them win "points" in that way.) The only reason this doesn't distress critics of Steiner and anthroposophic projects more than it does is that because wikipedia is such a playground for this kind of debacle, on so many similar controversial topics, that its credibility is pretty low at the moment anyway, and I think this situation - the control of the articles by biased proponents - is known to most people who take a look at the articles.

Anyone taking a look for the first time is advised to consult the extensive archives of these discussions, but again, I think most people understand this about wikipedia now. The same situation pertains on similar articles, say, scientology or anywhere religious devotees or followers of various gurus promote their cause.DianaW (talk) 20:24, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

"People who write at the start of their reply to me "Indeed" but then try to twist my words into something I never said get big points from me for intellectual honesty… NOT." LOL. Get used to this style of argumentation . . .DianaW (talk) 20:28, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

  • hgilbert continues to insist that Steiner's racialist views and disparaging comments towards Jews and Judaism were… well what? Universally held at the time? That is not true. I have provided a number of names of people who were Steiner's contemporaries or predecessors who thought differently. But really, it is hgilbert who needs to prove his assertion. In the meantime, this Article needs edits that stick to the facts instead of giving undue weight to information that makes Steiner look good while neglecting info that shows him in a poor light. I've made a start with my recent edits today.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:43, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Eliminating well-sourced information is not a good start. Note that Wikipedia's "prejudice" is for citations to acknowledged authorities. If you can offer sources that support your assertions; these can then be included here. hgilbert (talk) 18:21, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

Please justify this tag by citing sources that fit the arbitration criteria and that are not adequately represented here. If there are no such sources the tag should be removed. hgilbert (talk) 02:01, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I am using the "POV section" tag in accordance with its instructions. I already noted the grotesque imbalance in the Judaism section, which focuses almost entirely on information that puts Steiner in a good light to the exclusion of information that does not. The external link, removed by another editor, to the 1999 article by Dan Dugan in the print journal Natural Jewish Parenting, gives the latter type of information, both in verbatim quotes and in paraphrases (actual and potential). (I disagree with the removal of the external link, especially the claimed explanation which references WP:ELNO #2, "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research." The info is factually accurate as well as verifiable.)
This section should be deleted and then rebuilt from scratch. Any editor who starts the rebuilding must immediately do so from a Neutral Point of View. This means that both favorable and unfavorable information on the Article's subject must be collected and integrated; selecting only, or mostly, favorable info and then demanding that other editors contribute balancing info – especially with the additional burden of the unusual Arbcom restrictions imposed – is uncollegial and not backed up by Wikipedia rules.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 02:52, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
The reliability and objectivity of sources was a priority in the arbitration proceedings; polemical sources were specifically excluded. To sum up the result of the arbitration: Authors with no academic qualifications or expertise in an area, and who write with explicitly polemical intent, are not good sources for either side of an argument (and citations to authors from both sides were then removed from this article on these grounds). The arbitrators also emphasized that there were ample sources of good academic standard, and demanded (and continue to demand) that all editors search for more reliably sourced material.
You could take this particular article/author back to the arbitrators for consideration. Failing a new judgment, we have to proceed on the grounds laid down for us. hgilbert (talk) 15:22, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Quote in the lead[edit]

The quote in the lead section doesn't work very well. I prefer a summary of the article. If the quote must be used, it should be placed in the relevant section. And, for an article whose length is around 67 kilobytes, the lead should be much longer. Viriditas (talk) 10:03, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Given the above, I've removed the following quotation from the intro, and don't see quite where else it might be appropriate. Shall we drop it or does it have a place? hgilbert (talk) 16:31, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the quote is unnecessary. It's in the anthroposophy article lead anyway. I don't agree that the lead should be much longer. --EPadmirateur (talk) 18:26, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

COI Tag placed[edit]

In response to a request to look up the Arbcom decision for this Article, I discovered that hgilbert, a major contributor to this article, is a Waldorf School teacher. Accordingly I have placed a Conflict of Interest (COI) tag at the top of the article.

In addition, I have restored the NPOV tags for the sections headed -- don't have them in front of me, but I believe they were "Race relations" and "Judaism".

Put back the external link to the article titled "Rudolf Steiner and the Jews". There was nothing in the Arbcom decision to mandate its removal.

Also, I have put a notice about this on the Reliable Sources Noticeboard.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 22:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Came here due to the notice at RSN... To say that there is a COI because someone teaches at a Waldorf School is pushing the bounds of WP:COI... it is like saying that a teacher at a Catholic School should not edit the article on the Pope or a Rabbi should not edit an article on Judeism. While his employment does explain hgilbert's interest, I don't see it as a conflict of interest. I have removed the tag.
As for the "Steiner and the Jews" article... It certainly isn't RS, and so should not be used as a source in support of any factual information in the article... however, as External Link, it might be OK (as Wikipeida has a more lenient inclusion policy for ELs). I will leave it, but I understand if the recent Arbcom decision results in others removing it. Blueboar (talk) 23:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
The ArbCom decision restricts the sources used in articles about Waldorf and anthroposophy and the link that was added was I believe specifically ruled out (polemical, non-scholarly original research). In any case, it doesn't meet the standard. Goodmorningworld, if you have balancing sourced material, then please add it. Otherwise, please justify the NPOV tags here first. They have been discussed several times before and were removed. Thanks. --EPadmirateur (talk) 00:28, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
It's definitely not a COI. Don't confuse COI with POV. Someone with a POV can edit Wikipedia articles related to their interest, so long as their edits are Wikipedia-compliant and they're not disruptively refusing to edit collaboratively. THF (talk) 02:25, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
hpgilbert and EPadmirateur certainly are doing just that. See below about edit warring to keep out one measly external link critical of Steiner.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 12:52, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
See discussion at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Rudolf_Steiner, where Goodmorningworld took this. The response there is that GMW's proposed link doesn't meet arbitration standards, and that this is not a POV issue but an arbitration issue. This seems pretty clear. hgilbert (talk) 01:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

prose format[edit]

THF tagged the Reception section for its prose style; I'm not sure what should be changed. Can you clarify? hgilbert (talk) 01:47, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I think it means it would be better to use prose rather than a list of bullets for the different points. --EPadmirateur (talk) 02:11, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Edit warring to remove one (1) external link critical of Steiner[edit]

This is laughable and shameful.

Here is the contents of the External Links section. I have removed subheadings so that they can be numbered consecutively. Also, made it so that the URLs are immediately visible.

External links[edit]

  1. Rudolf Steiner Overview
  2. The Anthroposophical Society in America
  3. Goetheanum
  4. Official site of the Rudolf Steiner Archive] (German language)
  5. The Rudolf Steiner Online Archive
  6. Steiner lending library
  7. Rudolf Steiner Audio
  8. A list of all English translations
  9. Emerson College in the UK
  10. Rudolf Steiner Foundation (dba RSF Social Finance)
  11. Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
  12. Steiner/Waldorf Schools Fellowship of the UK
  13. Camphill Association
  14. The Christian Community
  15. Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association
  16. Heiner Ullrich, "Rudolf Steiner", Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol.XXIV, no. 3/4, 1994, p. 555-572
  17. Rudolf Steiner and the Jews
  18. Rudolf Steiner: 'Scientist of the Invisible' ] ([[Carlin Romano, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Volume 53, Issue 37, 2007, p. B16)
  19. Rudolf Steiner introduced by Owen Barfield.
  20. Skeptics Dictionary
  21. Steiner biography by Gary Lachman
  22. See photos from Motzstraße 30, Schöneberg, Berlin, where Rudolf Steiner lived from 1903 to 1923.
  23. Steiner's astrological birth chart

Total of links above: 23. Now let's examine them one by one:

  1. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  2. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  3. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  4. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  5. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  6. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  7. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  8. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  9. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  10. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  11. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  12. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  13. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  14. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  15. Pro Steiner. Part of the Anthroposophy/Steiner/Waldorf cultural empire. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  16. Mildly pro Steiner. Third party publication. Peer reviewed?
  17. Critical of Steiner. Third party publication. Peer reviewed? This is the external link that has repeatedly been excised by edit warriors.
  18. Dead link.
  19. Dead link. Likely pro Steiner.
  20. Critical of Steiner. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  21. Mildly pro Steiner. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  22. Dead link to Norway's Anthroposophical Society, so pro Steiner. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.
  23. Pro Steiner. Steiner's astrological birth chart. Something for the true believers, fellow superstitionist. Not a third party peer reviewed publication.

All the protestations about "Reliable Sources" (remember, at this point it's only an external link) and about including only "third party peer reviewed publications" therefore are not credible. The aim is to include a vast predominance of pro-Steiner links, sources and material, so that the Wikipedia article on Steiner becomes unbalanced hagiography with only a few token criticisms allowed. This Article is badly in need of more editors enforcing a neutral point of view.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 12:50, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I have excised or repaired the dead links; thank you for bringing these to our attention.
The other link in question is an self- and web-published article (no peer review) by someone with no qualifications in history or sociology or any related field. How does it meet the standards for WP:External links? hgilbert (talk) 21:10, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Um, the article by Dan Dugan in Natural Jewish Parenting was hardly peer reviewed. --EPadmirateur (talk) 01:21, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry; I struck out my incorrect assertions above; the article was actually published in a magazine. Nevertheless, the arbitration explicitly excluded polemical sources on either side and emphasized that controversial claims will need solid sourcing in independent, NPOV authorities. The lack of qualifications and the clear polemical intent of this author violate the arbitration guidelines. This would equally apply to an anthroposophical author with no qualifications in a subject and writing in praise of Steiner; it would simply not be citable. Websites of an organization should be linked, however; this is principle number 1 in Wikipedia:External_links#What_should_be_linked. If you see links with polemical content on either side of the issue, please list these here; we have tried to exclude these (such as Waldorf Answers and a variety of similar, pro-Steiner sites). hgilbert (talk) 21:25, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Note the independent opinion on the issue at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Rudolf_Steiner, which confirms this link being in violation of the arbitration standards. Let's keep to the standard of third-party peer reviewed sources, please. hgilbert (talk) 01:38, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I tend to think that there are to many external links, and especially for things that have their own articles or are referenced in the text, to remove some of the external links. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 20:02, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Looking at the external links, I tend to agree that some are not directly related to Steiner. The whole "Practical Activities" section should perhaps be removed. What do others think? hgilbert (talk) 21:30, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


The article says that Steiner began a phase of his work after the Second World War, but he died in 1925. Should this be changed to the First World War? Or should this sentace be removed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:06, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Quite right! I've changed this. hgilbert (talk) 00:15, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Browser Problem 10 cm white[edit]

When this Rudolf Steiner Article is displayed with internet explorer or with mozilla firefox after the first paragraph and before the table of contents about 10 cm of blank white appears. I tried safari, opera and google chrome and with those three it does not happen. I am not a website and browser specialist and i dont want to do any harm to this article even more since i am a wikipedia beginner and this article seems to be under special arbitration. So maybay somebody else has an idea. It looks now unusual/unproffessional.Rembertbiemond (talk) 13:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Full Name[edit]

Rudolf Steiners full name was Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, i am a bit surprised that this does not appear in the article. I don'nt have a ref right here other then the german wikipedia which states it (as some others. Since this seems to be a article under arbitration i propose a change here first to see what happens. What i suggest concretly is to change the beginning of the article into Rudolf Steiner (born as Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, 25 or 27 February 1861[1] – 30 March 1925)

Next to that: in the box on the right (that is why it popped up to my mind)or it should just say name (and not full name) or the full name should be stated: Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner should be stated Rembertbiemond (talk) 18:00, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

It would be better to find a source before adding the info. — goethean 18:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
sure, I will try to find one and invite herewith others to help Rembertbiemond (talk) 18:16, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
See here for confirmation. I have added the full name. I don't think it needs a citation in the article, however (unless this becomes controversial). hgilbert (talk) 19:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Everything that can be cited should be cited. It is presumable that someone will eventually question it, so citing the material helps to ensure a more stable article. — goethean 19:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Better safe than sorry, eh? hgilbert (talk) 19:29, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
This went fast - but what about the "box" or how is it called on the right? "full" name I would rather delete the word full then change "Rudolf Steiner" to the "Full" name but I don'nt know what the convention is with these boxes?Rembertbiemond (talk) 20:16, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

world war two should be world war one[edit]

In the section about spiritual research the first bullet point states .....was disbanded at the start of World War Two. This is wrong. Steiner died in 1925. The stated activity was discontinued due to the outbreak of WW 1 not WW 2. So my suggestion is to change "two" into "one" Since the article is under arbitration I first suggest it here - but it is not something which I asume to be controversial. Rembertbiemond (talk) 18:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. You may go ahead and make uncontroversial edits like this. — goethean 18:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


For the time being i will continue to discuss edits first here: The last sentence of attacks, illness and death states: ... He wrote his autobiography in the following months and ....." This is not completly correct. Rudolf Steiner started on his Autobiography in 1923, before his illness, it was published in chapters, most of the time one chapter per week in the weekly "Das Goetheanum" During his illness he continued with the autobiography (amongst other things) and the autobiography was not ready when he died. suggest the following edit: "During his illness he continued to publish chapters of his autobiography..." or similar - then it would be more correct. The book: Rudolf Steiner; Eine Chronik 1861-1925, Stuttgart 1988, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, ISBN 3-7725-0905-3 is the ref for this. (as for many other details about Rudolf Steiners life)pages 606 to 632 cover the period end of September 1924 untill short after his death march 1925. I don't think that there is an english translation. Rembertbiemond (talk) 19:34, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

added the word continued, because otherwise the reader could misunderstand that the autobiography was written only during the last (couple of months -during his illness) months of his life, hope this is ok. Grammar or english edits on this sentence most welcome Rembertbiemond (talk) 07:32, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Performance of Faust in the Goetheanum[edit]

In the paragraph The anthroposophical Society and its cultural activities line 4-5 states: "In 1919, the Goetheanum staged the world premiere of a complete production of Goethe's Faust". This is not correct. During Rudolf Steiners lifetime a "complete" performance of Faust I and II never took place. However: Work on Faust is essential for the Goetheanum and Steiners life. Several parts where shown. (for those not so familiar with Faust - a "complete" production is about 22 hours of theater) In Faust am Goetheanum, Verlag Urachhaus, Stuttgart ISBN 3 87838 348 7, on page 44- 55 there is an article by eyewitness and coworker Assia Turgenieff with memories about which scenes where shown when and how between 1915 and 1918. Rudolf Steiners widow then continued on the mammoth project and the first "complete" show was done 1938. So for articles about the Goetheanum and about the performance history of Goethe's Faust this world premiere in 1938 is of essential importance. (I did not cross check what Wikipedia has on this) But this is the article on Steiner So what is the Edit suggest? Help appriciated. As a first edit with ref. to the book quoted above I suggest: "...From 1915 onwards, the Goetheanum staged scenes of Goethe's Faust. In 1919, the first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart, Germany...." The word Faust could be footnoted with: In 1938 the Goetheanum staged the worldwide first complete performance of Goethe's Faust I and II directed by Marie Steiner von Sivers, Steiners widow. This would fix the wrong information. More substantial editing then hopefully later Rembertbiemond (talk) 20:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


In the farming section, a sentence describing Steiner's influence on agriculture now says," ... including Germany, Switzerland and India; in the latter about one quarter of the farms had adopted biodynamic practices as of 2006.[45]" This can't be correct for India but I don't have the reference at hand. Perhaps Switzerland?

(was fixed a while ago - ) Rembertbiemond (talk) 08:10, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

... and now its back to the way the original poster described it. Any clarification, anyone? Noclock (talk) 07:36, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

It is not dubious, it is wrong. And it should be corrected. It is wrong for India. It is wrong for Switzerland. I suggest to delete the sentence alltogether - in the article about biodynamic article there is enough further information --Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:15, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I suggest the following sentence instead: Biodynamic farming holds a significant position in the realm of organic agriculture movements. -hope that somebody has a better suggestion and a ref. This one would at least not be wrong. The only thing i can think of which the original author might have ment is that within the realm of organic agriculture the biodynamic method would count for a quarter of that total. --Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:25, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Someone needs to look up the citation and see if it says what the article claims that it says. — goethean 21:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
ok I stand corrected goethean. The quote is from a dvd (tells me amazon)... Alternativly another source - maybe a printed one with percentages of organic versus conventional - and within the organic which method could help. I will try to surf a little bit for that one.--Rembertbiemond (talk) 22:03, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Here is a reliable source with statistics on organic agriculture worldwide. For India i found only the absolute figures - not the relative ones but for the whole of asia organic farming compared to total farming counts for less then 3% let alone biodynamic...and that no country has 25% organic farming wherof biodynamic farming again would tipically be around 10% of that figure... So sorry for the dvd (if it was quoted correctly). It would have to hold against strong statistical stating something different. --Rembertbiemond (talk) 22:26, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
We can add text to the article indicating the results of your research. — goethean 22:57, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
In the meanwhile i found here: also the figure for india, it is 0,3 % for organic in total, so biodynamics a fraction of that. Lets not forget that this is an article about steiner, not about biodynamics in india. i therefore suggest simplification, as suggested above —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rembertbiemond (talkcontribs) 23:01, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I made the dubious claim invisible and requested verification. — goethean 23:02, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Good. I believe a next good step could be to include a sentence with some data on farms/ hectares /continents now working with this method --Rembertbiemond (talk) 23:12, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
But probably in the Biodynamic agriculture article rather than here! hgilbert (talk) 19:34, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Marie von Sivers not Sievers[edit]

In the part about Steiner and the theosophical Society line 4 states: Steiner met and worked with Marie von Sievers. The Spelling of von Sievers is wrong. Correct is Marie von Sivers. see also Marie Steiner-von Sivers so my edit suggest is to delete one e from the name and to make an internal link.Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:02, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I've tried to fix this and the other errors your eagle eye has caught; feel free to just edit such niceties into order yourself, however. The arbitration recommends unusual care dealing with controversial matters, while these are uncontroversial questions. hgilbert (talk) 00:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

ok, understood. As a relative newbie to Wikipedia (as an Editor, not as a user) and completly new to articles under arbitration I first didn't dare to edit something directly. I now understand that I can make the judgement if something might be considered to be controversial myself, then edit directly or discuss the edit first here. Thank you - and Goethean for encouregement. I will nevertheless be carefull with direct editing because english is not my first language. Rembertbiemond (talk) 07:41, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Date of Birth[edit]

Steiners date of birth is not in dispute. It was 25th February 1891 at 11.15 pm. I will change that second date of 27th Feb (which was his baptism) unless anyone objects and put the reference [38]Swiss Astro-Data bank Thank you Veryscarymary (talk) 08:26, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it's quite disputed as he gave various dates on various occasions. It seems clear that it is either the 25th or 27th of February. I'm afraid the time of 11:15pm may be pure invention. is not a very reliable source; where did they get this from? hgilbert (talk) 16:41, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Question / Edit suggest on place of birth[edit]

Has there been consensus / discussion here about the wording of the place of birth? (-How to search tons of archived bytes talk of this page?) If there is consensus I ask for a ref and explanation. In all literature I know including Steiners Autobiografy it is stated that Rudolf Steiner was born in Kraljevec Austria-Hungary. a footnote that it is now named Donji Kraljevec and now is Croatia is usefull. What is the source for Murakirály?, Some fast googeling of Murakiraly tells me that it is the name of the county where Donji Kraljevec is located. The wording now suggest that the name of the actual place of birth was then Murakiraly. It is posseble (just guessing) that for some time in between (during yogoslavian rule) kraljevec was not an "official" village and the larger entity Murakiraly was the "official" name for a couple of villages. If so i asume that of little importance for 1861 and 2009. I suggest an Edit if there is no substantial evidence here somewhere soon that the place of birth was then named other then Kraljevec. Rembertbiemond (talk) 17:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

At one point the county was included as well; when it was simplified, it was done incorrectly, I suspect. I have made the above alteration. hgilbert (talk) 18:48, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
That was fast - And i think it was good that it was done because other language tend to copy translate from the english version. I suggest "we" change also the 3rd line in the childhood section accordingly...Rembertbiemond (talk) 18:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
done -now also in line 3 of childhood section- Rembertbiemond (talk) 20:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Felix Koguzki not Kogutski[edit]

Becoming a bit more corageous I changed the spelling of Kogutzki according to Lindenberg 1988, ISBN 3-7725-0905-3 and Selg 2009, ISBN 978-3-905919-10-3 to Koguzki. Rembertbiemond (talk) 18:36, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

looks / graphics / box on anthroposophy[edit]

Imho the positioning of the box "anthroposophy" is not a graphics-masterpiese. I am not Wikipedia IT Specialist enough to know how to change that - a couple of lines higher would be better i think? What is the opinion of other viewers? Maybe somebody else can have a look/make a change Rembertbiemond (talk) 14:50, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

This was just changed a few days ago due to a complaint about white space appearing (see above). I've tried to fix it; we may need to try out various alternatives. hgilbert (talk) 15:44, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I Think this is not the solution - then it was better what we had yesterday morning... It is only in windows explorer that there are tons of white again - not in mozilla, chrome, safari, opera. But i think 50% + (?) of users ist still on explorer..

Ist it an idea to have the anthroposophy box start at the top of the childhood section? Would that eliminate the white? Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:05, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I am not expirienced Wikipedian enough to start to experiment with lay-out. So maybe i shouldn't bring up the subject in the firstplace. It is not essential for the content. but the looks are not nice - anybody else seeing my point? Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:08, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
May I suggest that you can experiment fairly easily with template or image placement by using the "Show preview" button, which will show how the page will look with the change that you made, without actually saving the change. Then you can experiment in IE and other browsers before deciding where to put the template so it will work in most common browsers. --EPadmirateur (talk) 23:50, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I have tried now a little different position - after the encouragement - what do you think - better?--Rembertbiemond (talk) 21:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The Age 42[edit]

Where in Steiner's writings may I find the importance of the age 42 ?

thank you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Try Bernard Lievegoed's Phases: The Spiritual Rhythms of Adult Life hgilbert (talk) 10:03, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Lack of balance / sounds like an advert for the subject[edit]

I think there are fundamental problems with this article. It reads like a subjective non-encyclopaedic profile written by person/persons who are obviously adherents of Steiner's controversial methods. Here is an entry from The Skeptic's Dictionary [39] -- note that these criticisms are not really touched on in the article, or at least not sufficiently covered.

There is no question that Steiner made contributions in many fields, but as a philosopher, scientist, and artist he rarely rises above mediocrity and is singularly unoriginal. In some cases, e.g., agriculture, he is pseudoscientific. His spiritual ideas seem less than credible and are certainly not scientific. His belief in his own clairvoyance should be disturbing to those who think he is one of the great minds of all time.

And there is nothing in the lead at all which gives an indication that Steiner's ideas are controversial or flawed. This must be a cause for concern. Jprw (talk) 14:40, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

It's one man's opinion. Thanks for adding the Carroll quote. It's curious how wide reception of a figure can vary; other authors critique Steiner's philosophy for being overly intellectual! hgilbert (talk) 23:36, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I entirely agree with the comment that this article at present (Jan 31 2011) is an entirely one sided sanitized description of Steiner. There is now a body of objective academic research on Steiner - James Webb, Professor Antoine Faivre, Gary Lachman, Colin Wilson and others - that presents Steiner warts, ego, hemorrhoids and all within the context of the Esoteric and Irrational movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries rather than as the whitewashed bodhisattva that some evidently would like to see posted here. For instance Steiner from 1902 to 1913 was leader of the German branch of the Theosophical movement a virulently anti-Semitic,anti-Catholic religious order. Steiner states that he knew from at least 1909 of extensive fraud taking place within the TS - yet remained General Secretary in Germany until expelled in 1913. Masteryorlando (talk) 00:27, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Speculation, original research and rumor[edit]

User:Masteryorlando has added several additional statements to the section Attacks, illness and death (reverted here) which have several problems:

  • The paragraph about Steiner's self-poisoning is completely unsourced and speculation.
  • The statement that some attributed the destruction of the Goetheanum to "the level of animosity against Steiner after his creation of Eucharistic and other sacraments for the Christian Community" is not supported by the reference.
  • The statements about the fire not being arson but caused by electrical fault need to be supported by quoting the specific statements of the referenced books. In any case, the entire paragraph amounts to original research.
  • Similarly the insertion of reference to "Mussolini's Corporate Realpolitik" and "within a meritocratic fascist dictat" is either original research or unreliable speculation on James Webb's part. Specific quoted text is going to be needed to support these statements.

--EPadmirateur (talk) 03:22, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I've tried to remove the original research while maintaining the validly sourced parts. The Fortean Times, for example is not an encyclopedia-quality source. hgilbert (talk) 19:30, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

  • The paragraph about Steiner's poisoning

This is supported by his attending physician Ita Wegman. In her biography she states Steiner directed the treatment of his last illness from beginning to end Also see: Sergei O. Prokofieff, May Human beings hear it!: the mystery of the Christmas Conference Publ. Forest Row, Temple Lodge Publishing 2004 p.729-730 Ita Wegman, assisted in his treatment with naturopathic remedies, wrote in her autobiography that his "digestive and metabolic apparatus functioned very weakly because [his] ether body could no longer intervene in these organs in the proper way. ... Food had the effect of posion because it could not be sufficiently spiritualised and transformed for absorption" SEE Ita Wegman, An die Freunde: Aufsätze und Berichte aus den Jahren 1925-27 Natura-Verlag, 1968 p.5 et seq

- Regarding EPadmirateur's claim that "The statement that some attributed the destruction of the Goetheanum to 'the level of animosity against Steiner after his creation of Eucharistic and other sacraments for the Christian Community' is not supported by the reference."

This is NOT correct - it is indeed supported by the reference I provided See the source - Gary Lachman, Rudolf Steiner, Penguin Books 2007 pp. 199 - 204 which provided precisely this: "The Christian Community for which Steiner provided a new Sacrament, the Act of the Consecration of Man ... became another target for the rising anti-Steiner hostility. ...The very real hostility Steiner experienced, led to the belief that arson was to blame. Others point out that as the fire was discovered inside a wall, it could have been an electrical fault. More than likely we will never know. By midnight the flames shot through the massive domes and illuminated the sky. Local firefighters and anthroposophists joined to battle the blaze but the wood was too plentiful a fuel." Also Steiner in his first lecture after the fire claimed the Dornach Catholic church (working with the Freemasons) were responsible.

- Regarding EPadmirateur's claim that the statements about the fire not being arson but caused by electrical fault need to be supported by quoting the specific statements of the referenced books and is Original Research.

On the contrary it is NOT original research and it is factual unlike the statement it replaced "that the Goetheanum was destroyed by arson" which is entirely speculative as the only evidence for arson is circumstantial at best. The contemporary New York Times reference states that "incendiarism was suspected" in "Steiner's Temple". For some reason EPadmirateur keeps removing this (4 times now) claiming it is my "original research". Clearly it is not. This is a contemporary news account clearly worthy of inclusion. The description of the fire as being at "Steiner's Temple" in that New York Times report alone is vitally important to a full understanding of what the Goetheanum was perceived to be by reputable news sources at that time. Again Gary Lachman - a respected occult academic - see in his biography of Steiner published by the respected academic Penguin Books states as an indisputable fact: "The very real hostility Steiner experienced, led to the belief that arson was to blame. Others point out that as the fire was discovered inside a wall, it could have been an electrical fault." I again provided this reference being p.204 of Larchman's book "Rudolf Steiner" published by Penguin 2007. One such "other" - again whose writing I provided the reference to - was Colin Wilson who in his biography of Steiner says "Most commentators suggest that the fire was due to arson, but the fact that it began inside a wall suggests an electrical fault." Steiner critic, Peter Staudenmaier, Assistant Professr of History at Montana University (see at calls the arson notion "mostly silly"

For all of the above reasons I believe the Wikipedia recommendation should stand which states "When you find a passage in an article that you find is biased or inaccurate, improve it if you can. If that is not easily possible, and you disagree with a point of view expressed in an article, don't just delete it. Rather, balance it with what you think is neutral." I have done this in my last edit presenting an entirely neutral both sides of the case. EPadmirateur has deleted this. This is now the 4th time editors have sought to present a unilateral case that it was arson yet have provided no academic proof to back up this "highly speculative" statement - because there is none: there is only speculation.

So I suggest a neutral and factual statement that (as Larchner says) "likely we will never know" and shows that some commentators say arson and some say electrical fire... Something like the following:

The suggestion that the burning of the Goetheanum was arson, however, has never been proved and is disputed. According to Steiner biographer, Gary Lachman, and others, the source of the fire was inside a hollow wall. Although smoke was noticed at an early stage, the location of the fire could only be found after the wall was broken open. [REFERENCE Gary Lachman, Rudolf Steiner Publ. Penguin Books 2007 pp. 204-205 See also Christoph Lindenberg's biography of Steiner: chapter 46, "Der Brand des Goetheanum" pp. 789-797. See also "Der Brand des Goetheanum" in René Maikowski's memoir Schicksalswege auf der Suche nach dem lebendigen Geist (Freiburg 1980), pp. 59-65 ] Lachman refers to other commentators who suggest the fire was caused by an electrical fault REFERENCE Larchman Ibid p.204 See for one such commentator Colin Wilson, Rudolf Steiner, the man and his vision: an introduction to the life and ideas of the founder of anthroposophy Publ Aquarian Press 1985 p.153 Wilson writes "Most commentators suggest that the fire was due to arson, but the fact that it began inside a wall suggests an electrical fault."] Lachman concludes "more than likely we will never know.

To answer EPadmirateur's d'Alveydre question - check out 'Synarchy' at d'Alveydre's entry at Wikipedia. Masteryorlando (talk) 00:30, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Again, it is original research in the form of synthesis to claim that the reason the police report stated that arson was the cause of the fire was because Steiner assumed it was arson. Police reports of fires do not simply record the opinion of the owner, and in this case there was indeed an investigation. If you want to include more details of the many speculations about the causes this could go into a separate article, e.g. First Goetheanum fire. The police report is sufficient basis for this article. hgilbert (talk) 12:55, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

hgilbert is wrong. This is absolutely not synthesis. Firsly NO report concludes that arson occured. The final District Commissioner's Report on the fire in considering arson specifically says firstly that Steiner is reported in the press as suspecting arson because of hostility to Steiner. The report plays this down calling these "swirling rumors":

Über die Brandursache schwirrten alle möglichen Gerüchte im Lande herum. In gewissen Kreisen der nähern Umgebung von Dornach machte sich eine ziemlich erregte Stimmung gegen die Mitglieder des Vereins des Goetheanum bemerkbar. Es mag sein, daß hiezu der Umstand nicht wenig beigetragen hatte, daß von Dr. Steiner und seinen Leuten selbst eine Untersuchung geführt und die Bedienung der Presse durchgeführt wurde. In einer der ersten Veröffentlichungen wurde die Behauptung aufgestellt, es liege Brandstiftung von außen vor, was die Gegner Dr. Steiners arg in den Harnisch brachte.

Secondly in considering arson the report states that because of the facts surrounding Ott, the management of the Goetheanum "assume arson."

Der Uhrenmacher Ott in Ariesheim, ... vermißt wird. Dieser Umstand und die Aussagen einzelner Mitglieder des Vereins des Goetheanum über Warnungen, die Ott geäußert hat, ferner die Feststellung, daß das Feuer im Hohlraum der bezeichneten Wand, wo aber keine elektr. Leitung durchführte, ausgebrochen sein muß, sowie die Tatsache, daß an der Außenseite des Baues in der Nähe des Südportals ein Gerüst stand, mittelst welchem der Ort des Brandausbruches mit Leichtigkeit zu erreichen war, führte zur Vermutung, daß Brandstiftung vorliegen könnte. Spuren einer Brandlegung waren nicht festzustellen, da die mehrfach bezeichnete Wand bis auf den Grund niedergebrannt ist.

The report says of arson "no trace of arson could be found" but it does leave open the possibility that it was arson.

Masteryorlando —Preceding undated comment added 23:05, 3 February 2011 (UTC).

Hgilbert's reference Stephen Klimczuk and Gerald Warner, Secret Places, Hidden Sanctuaries, p. 73 is 'poorly sourced'.

The police report referred to mentioned in Lindenberg is describing NOT a factual report but a speculative report made by the Goetheanum to the Police and NOT a report BY the police determining an issue of fact.

Hgilbert does not appear to have anything to suggest otherwise.

Even Steiner stated in an address to his followers the next day that he merely 'assumed' it was arson and Steiner pointed his finger at the local Dornach Roman Catholics saying they were in cahoots with freemasons who 2 years prior had, in print, predicted "sparks will fly."

(Hgilbert's 'poorly sourced' reference, incidentally, speculates it was a disgruntled anthroposophist but again provides no scholarly reference for this speculation.)

That arson was only suspected is borne out by the New York Times report:

See New York Times Jan 2, 1923 HOME OF THEOSOPHY BURNS; Incendiarism Suspected in Destruc- tion of Steiner's Temple Near Basle. Basle Switzerand Jan 1 The Goethanim [SIC] headquarters of the International Anthroposophical Society at Dornach, near here was burned last night. ... It has not been determined whether the fire was incendiary, but opponents of Steiner's teachings which are Theosophical, have threatened to burn the building, so that a guard of three men has been constantly on duty for the last eighteen months."

Hgilbert has removed my edits now 4 times in quick succession.

My suggestions presents both sides:

1. arson was suspected and was included in a report made to the police:

The Goetheanum was destroyed by fire on New Year's Eve 1922/23. Because of the level of hostility against him, Steiner assumed arson and this was stated in a police report. In his first lecture on January 1, 1923, the day after the fire (GA 259) Steiner pointed directly to "two main sources of irreconcilable animosity against the Goetheanum": the Roman Catholic Association in Dornach and the Freemasons.

Sources: New York Times Ibid. Sergei O. Prokofieff, May human beings hear it!: the mystery of the Christmas Conference Publ. Temple Lodge Publishing, 2004; pp.720-722. Gary Lachman Ibid pp.204-205; Lindenberg Ibid chapter 46, "Der Brand des Goetheanum" pp. 789-797. René Maikowski, Schicksalswege auf der Suche nach dem lebendigen Geist; Publ. Freiburg 1980, pp.59-65: "Der Brand des Goetheanumsalswege auf der Suche nach dem lebendigen Geist; Publ. Freiburg 1980, pp.59-65: "Der Brand des Goetheanum"

2. The scholarly side which suggests arson is unproven

The suggestion that the burning of the Goetheanum was arson, however, has never been proved and is disputed. The source of the fire seems to have been inside a hollow wall and although smoke was noticed at an early stage, the location of the fire was only found after the wall was broken open. This has led some commentators to suggest the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

Sources: Sergei O. Prokofieff, May human beings hear it!: the mystery of the Christmas Conference Publ. Temple Lodge Publishing, 2004; pp.720-722. [Referring to Steiner lecture GA259 stating that "arson was assumed".] Gary Lachman Ibid pp.204-205; Lindenberg Ibid chapter 46, "Der Brand des Goetheanum" pp. 789-797. René Maikowski, Schicksalswege auf der Suche nach dem lebendigen Geist; Publ. Freiburg 1980, pp.59-65: "Der Brand des Goetheanumsalswege auf der Suche nach dem lebendigen Geist; Publ. Freiburg 1980, pp.59-65: "Der Brand des Goetheanum." Colin Wilson, Rudolf Steiner, the man and his vision: an introduction to the life and ideas of the founder of anthroposophy Publ Aquarian Press 1985 p.153 Wilson writes "Most commentators suggest that the fire was due to arson, but the fact that it began inside a wall suggests an electrical fault."] Lachman also repeats this and concludes "more than likely we will never know."

Hgilbert incorrectly suggest this is "synthesis". It is not. It presents both sides.

The issue here is whether it is important that it be shown that it was NOT definitely arson or not.

In the interest of fairness and neutrality I believe it is crucial to show both sides.

Since, despite several challenges, Hgilbert has provided no real reason not to show both sides and has failed to provide a genuine reason for removing my entry (falsely saying my entry is "original research", then that it is "synthesis",) so, in the interest of scholarship I am reverting to the more objective description backed by multiple scholarly references and contemporary news reports which includes both sides.Masteryorlando (talk) 21:01, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Illness and death[edit]

We have to find the appropriate level of detail for an overview of a biography. The details of Steiner's final illness are highly contested; this might be an article in itself, which I wouldn't write but others might like to. For purposes of this article, I suggest that we stick with a simple statement of the facts, with - if the detailed article is created - a link to this.

Obviously there is a huge amount to be said for every aspect of a person's life - it's a matter of keeping a proportion to the whole. hgilbert (talk) 13:02, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree that the treatment of his final illness and death in any detail is too much detail for the general article on Steiner. I'd like to add that to say "On 2 January 1925 he suffered a massive heart attack; he died on 30 March 1925." gives an incorrect impression that the proximate cause of his death was the heart attack. In fact, if you look a little further in the Prokofiev reference, it says that Steiner's condition improved considerably in January and February but later declined and then he died. We can't just say he suffered a heart attack on January 2 and then died on March 30.
If there is a separate article, it would need to include a number of other reliable accounts as well as Prokofiev. Introducing letters to Marie Steiner about stomach problems and hemorrhoids in such an article would be original research unless those problems are mentioned in other sources dealing with his final illness and death. --EPadmirateur (talk) 19:04, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. I suppose his own statements about his health could probably be cited, however, as long as it was not implied that these were directly related to his death. hgilbert (talk) 20:57, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

I am not aware of any serious literature contesting that Steiner's died from anything other than complications arising from his serious stomach disorders.

Are you aware of any?

The Encylopaedia of World Biography says this: "In the fall of 1924 he had to give up his speaking activities due to illness. Steiner suffered from an unknown stomach ailment, and some rumors spread among his followers that he had been poisoned. Steiner, however, discouraged such speculation before his death in Dornach on March 30, 1925."

Larchman (and Wegman) say that his stomach disorders "prevented him from absorbing nutrition" He began compalining of these well before 1924 as his letters show (painful hemorrhoid treatment difficulty in eating solid food.) By September 1924 he cancels lectures, withdraws to his studio where he remains for the last six months. He is self medicating but Larchman quotes Wegman that Steiner's self-prescription "accomplished little, if anything."

Of course it is relevant to any description of his death that he had a massive heart attack in January. I cannot imagine why you think this should be suppressed...

I am aware that some (including members of the vorstand) speculate that Steiner was poisoned at the 'rout' following the Christmas Conference and this was the cause of death - (see Prokofieff for instance.) I think this speculation also is very important to be included and should be presented as long as it is made clear that this is merely speculation.

Equally important is Wegman's etheric analysis - she was Steiner's physician after all.

AND vitally important that Steiner was directing his own medical treatment.

You seem to be stopping facts being presented lest readers draw conclusions from those facts. Unfortunatey witholding those facts must itself lead to other speculative conclusions. It is better to say in uncertainty "x says this and y says that", than to say either x or y or nothing.Masteryorlando (talk) 01:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

I know of no serious claim to knowing exactly why Steiner died, only much speculation. I have no problem with the article mentioning that he had a heart attack if this was the case (but was it? what is your source for this?). I agree, however, that it should not be implied that this had any direct relation with his death, which appears to have been from a progressive illness lasting months.
BTW: Wikipedia articles cannot be used as sources for other articles. hgilbert (talk) 03:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Hgilbert you have not answered: I am not aware of any serious literature contesting that Steiner's died from anything other than complications arising from his serious stomach disorders. Are you aware of any?

I suggest in the absence of such that

a fair description would include:

1. Reference to Steiner's painful daily hemmorhoid treatment 2. Reference in letters to Steiner's ongoing stomach problems 3. Some of his followers assert Steiner poisoned at the 'rout' 4. Wegman's desciption of Steiner's stomach problems as etheric - connected with his ability to absorb nutrition. Steiner's body (says Wegman) turns nutrition into poison. Wegman expresses concern that Steiner's self directed treatment is ineffective. 5. Steiner's collapse in September 1924 - he cuts short his lecture and his helped to his studio 5. He is confined to his studio for the last 6 months of his life. 6. On 2 January 1925 he suffers a massive heart attack. 7. Although he appears to recover from this, on 30 March 1925 after a lengthy illness he died from complications arising from an unknown serious stomach disorder. he died. (all backed up by the respective sources) Source for heart attack Wegman and Prokofieff

Any reasoned objections to these????

Masteryorlando (talk) 23:21, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


There are all sorts of things that could be added to this article, such as a description of the brooch that Besant wore to a particular TS conference, and the nature of Steiner's hemorrhoids, and.... But this is an article intended to give an overview, not a book-length treatment. I don't see anything essential in all these details, frankly. But Wikipedia allows infinite creating articles devoted to particular aspects of topics, such as the Goetheanum fire, or Steiner's last illness, or.... As I've said before, to expand the level of detail simply start a specialized article. That seems relatively straightforward. hgilbert (talk) 02:26, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

This trivializes that, looking at the history of this article, in edit after edit 2 or 3 editors have succeeded in keeping this biography to an entirely secular Anthroposophical 'authorized' 'sanitized' and 'whitewashed' version of Steiner ignoring the reality which was Steiner the Occultist, the Rosicrucian, the Clairvoyant and the esoteric metaphysician and presenting a distorted lie of who he was. The bio ignores entirely the fundamentals of the Esoteric Theosophical and Anthroposophical Occult Science movements led by Steiner - it entirely fails to describe the man who for 25 years stated that he was compelled to ally himself only with a movement which would develop Western Occultism? Where for instance is the Archangel Michael whose spiritual impulse was key to everything Steiner did?

How can Steiner be described accurately without these things - how can biodynamic farming be discussed without mention of astrology, or Waldorf education without mention of Steiner's view of the child's incarnating soul, Lucifer and Ahriman.

Here is the official version of Steiner presented by Anthroposophy's US publisher clearly demonstrating the Wikipedia BIO is almost identical.

Here an accurate biography:

Here a third party version - by respected academic author Gary Lachman who is sympathetic to Steiner Lachman website is here -

Here another objective biography

These latter three present a man unrecognizable from the drivel in this Wikipedia article thanks to this bias...

Even Waldorf's own website's Anthroposophy 101 presents an entirely unrecognizable anthroposophy from the hideous distortion here that presents Anthroposophy as a cross between an Open University course in Psychology Art and Philosophy.

Why nothing on clairvoyance or the akasha

...Convinced that reality is essentially spiritual, he wanted to train people to overcome the material world and learn to comprehend the spiritual world by the higher, spiritual self. He taught that there is a kind of spiritual perception that works independently of the body and the bodily senses. Apparently, it was this special spiritual sense that provided him with information about the occult.

Why is almost all the controversy surrounding Steiner removed - the section on Controversy is simply absurd. This was and is a highly controversial man. The real controversies about him are completely ignored whilst the description on race given in this bio is simply farcical. This was a man whose origins were in pre-nazi Germany for God's sake. Even the Encyclopedia Brittanica in 1911 described the Negro as an inferior race why pretend Steiner did not say and think the same. Why ignore everything he wrote on Racial degeneracy, why ignore his role within Ariosophy and the German Occult movement? Why ignore the Aryan/Semitic controversy that is the backbone of Theosophy, why ignore Steiner the German nationalist?

There is no mention of materialism???

Why ignore the neo-pagan elements - no mention of Lucifer or Ahriman

Why in the controversy section none of the following (from sceptic article)

"Waldorf schools are often attacked for encouraging paganism or even Satanism. This may be because they emphasize the relation of human beings to Nature and natural rhythms, including an emphasis on festivals, myths, ancient cultures, and various non-Christian celebrations."

Why is none of this included:

...According to Steiner, people existed on Earth since the creation of the planet. Humans, he taught, began as spirit forms and progressed through various stages to reach today's form. Humanity, Steiner said, is currently living in the Post-Atlantis Period, which began with the gradual sinking of Atlantis in 7227 BC ... The Post-Atlantis Period is divided into seven epochs, the current one being the European-American Epoch, which will last until the year 3573. After that, humans will regain the clairvoyant powers they allegedly possessed prior to the time of the ancient Greeks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Masteryorlando (talkcontribs) 06:17, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Most of these sources are not acceptable. Lachman would be - shall we add his image of Steiner "Standing at the lectern with his pince-nez in hand, he projected an image of irreproachable rectitude." or "there was something simple and peasant-like about Steiner. Combined with this wholesomeness was an encyclopædic erudition; if we were to use an 'archetype' to describe Steiner, it would have to be that of 'the professor'" or something about his "humble, self-effacing character"?
BTW: In the lead alone, there are two uses of the term "esoteric" and five uses of the term "spiritual". There is a whole section of the article on Steiner's [[Rudolf Steiner#Spiritual research|]]. hgilbert (talk) 13:36, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Again you prove my point. Rather than addressing the one sided content of your edits you question source reliability of other biographies and refuse to address the particular omissions and bias I point to. Clearly I was not suggesting these are sources I was pointing out the bias.

There are plenty of perfectly acceptable independent scholarly sources that describe the ommissions I refer to:

For Steiner's Rosicrucianism and Theosophy (anti-Materialism)

Gnosis and Hermeticism, R van den Broek, Wouter Hanegraff State University of New York (SUNY) Press 1998 p 332 - 346 (Schure Ibid)

James Webb Ibid Esoteric Underground and Esoteric Establishment

Lachman Ibid

Sun at Midnight, Ahern Ibid pp.141 - 160 (from Ahern's Phd for London School of Economics, Sociology of Religion concerning The Rudolf Steiner Movement)

Theosophy: History of a Pseudo-religion, Rene Guenon, Alvin Moore on Rudolf Steiner pp 194-208 (especially pp 199 et seq on Steiner and Heindl)

Controversial New Religions, James R. Lewis Oxford University Press p.259 - 295 on Theosophy

Journal Article "Anthroposophy" by Carl Clemen, University of Bonn Publ. in Chicago University Press. Publ. The Journal of Religion 1925 pp 281 et seq

MR Bezděk, Antroposofie a její vliv na spiritualitu v českém prostředí, [Anthroposophy and its influence on the spirituality of the Czech environment] Masaryk University, Brno, Department of Religious Studies

The western esoteric traditions: a historical introduction Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke Oxford University Press 2008

Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation Hennrik Bogdan SUNY Press

Western Esoteric Schools in the Nineteenth Century , Egmond

For biodynamic farming and astrology

For Waldorf education and child's incarnating soul

For Lucifer and Ahriman.

For Anthroposophy 101

For Steiner clairvoyance and occultism A science for the soul: occultism and the genesis of the German modern By Professor Corinna Treitel Johns Hopkins University Press pp.97-101

(Peer reviewed at )

also Geoffrey Ahern, Sun at Midnight: The Rudolf Steiner Movement and the Western Esoteric Tradition

For akasha and claims to supersensible clairvoyance - spiritual perception provided him with information about the occult. See Steiner books: Cosmic memory, Theosophy and Occult also Bogdan Ibid, Clemen Ibid, Ahern Ibid

For Racial degeneracy Steiner Cosmic Memory, Lecture cycle Karma and Truthfulness and Schure Ibid)

Race and Redemption: Racial and Ethnic Evolution in Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy P Staudenmaier, Univ California Press

For Steiner's role within Ariosophy and the German Occult movement The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890-1935: Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke University of Oxford press 1982 Treitel Ibid

For Aryan/Semitic controversy as a backbone of Theosophy See Webb Ibid

For Steiner the German nationalist Staudenmaier Ibid, Webb Ibid

For neo-pagan elements, Lucifer or Ahriman Ahern Ibid

For Waldorf schools are often attacked for encouraging paganism or even Satanism. This may be because they emphasize the relation of human beings to Nature and natural rhythms, including an emphasis on festivals, myths, ancient cultures, and various non-Christian celebrations. See Waldorf critics websites 'Are Waldorf Schools Non-Sectarian", Steiner Meetings with Faculty,

re Lachman quote - yes no problem: though to maintain neutrality perhaps balance it with a contemporary criticism such as Jung's accusation that Steiner "attempted concealment" (when he called Anthroposophy "Spiritual Science") OR Keyserling's description of Steiner's "tremendous lust for power" mentioned in Ahern. OR William irwin Thompson's hilarious description of Eurythmy as "all astral and psychic" "women move about in pastel nighties arms flailing"

Do you have objections to any of the above references being included to present a more balanced view? Masteryorlando (talk) 23:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

BIAS IN ARTICLE Rudolf Steiner[edit]

Attempt to resolve secularisation of Rudolf Steiner presented in warring edits by Waldorf Teacher and Anthroposophical author Hgilbert in pursuit of the Anthroposophical movement's desire to play down the occult or religious nature of anthroposophy. History shows the article has been carefully sculpted by Hgilbert through 600 largely warring edits to present Steiner almost solely as a philosopher and artist (See the lead.) Compare this with the history section in the wikipedia entry for Steiner's anthroposophy - the movemement for which Steiner almost exclusively known - and which comprises the Waldorf School movement. There 2/3 of that section covers Steiner's role as head of the German Theosophical Society. A post which he held for 12 years - most of Steiner's ministry as the leader of a cult movement - as academics Ahern and Bell define it.] Hgilbert reduces this in his lead to merely 'links to theosophy' and refuses all changes giving entirely spurious reasons.

For this reason I would like to add to the lead:

After gaining recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher, and although he had been initially opposed to Theosophy,[3] Steiner became General Secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society, from 1902 to 1913 and Arch Warden of its Esoteric School.[4] From within the Theosophical movement Steiner developed, out of his Rosicrucian initiation,[5] a comprehensive step-by-step path to gnosis which "attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism" and for "applying scientific strategies to induce spiritual visions."[6] His philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought, through meditation and cognitive exercises[7] to develop clairvoyance - to lead "the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe." He called this esoteric and occult[8] spiritual philosophy Anthroposophy. In a second phase, beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media, including drama and the movement arts, (developing a new artistic form, eurythmy) and later in architecture.

For this purpose compare the lead which describes Steiner as

An Austrian occultist and philosopher. He founded anthroposophy, a gnostic belief system [2] [3], derived from Christian Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, and Idealistic Philosophy [4] and a part of the German Occult Revival of the early 1900's [5]. Steiner's doctrine was influential in many different fields including education (Waldorf education), art (Eurythmy, Anthroposophical architecture), medicine (anthroposophic medicine) and agriculture (bio-dynamic agriculture).

with the current English lead which describes Steiner as an Austrian philosopher, social thinker, architect and esotericist.[3][4] He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher. At the beginning of the 20th century, he founded a spiritual movement, Anthroposophy, as an esoteric philosophy growing out of European transcendentalism and with links to Theosophy. In the first, more philosophically oriented phase, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism;[5] his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to provide a connection between the cognitive path of Western philosophy and the inner and spiritual needs of the human being.[6] In a second phase, beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media, including drama, the movement arts (developing a new artistic form, eurythmy) and architecture, culminating in the building of a cultural center to house all the artsSteiner led this movement through several phases. In the first, more philosophically oriented phase, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism;[5] his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to provide a connection between the cognitive path of Western philosophy and the inner and spiritual needs of the human being.[6] In a second phase, beginning around 1907, he began working collaboratively in a variety of artistic media, including drama, the movement arts (developing a new artistic form, eurythmy) and architecture, culminating in the building of a cultural center to house all the arts, the Goetheanum. After the First World War, Steiner worked with educators, farmers, doctors, and other professionals to develop Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine as well as new directions in numerous other areas.[7] Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a more explicitly spiritual component. He based his epistemology on Johann Wolfgang Goethe's world view, in which “Thinking … is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colours and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas.”[8] A consistent thread that runs from his earliest philosophical phase through his later spiritual orientation is the goal of demonstrating that there are no essential limits to human knowledge.[9]

Consider comparing the Wikipedia bio also with reliable independent third party bio's by, for instance, respected author Gary Lachman (who authored the Penguin books bio aready extensively referred to in the Wiki and who, btw, like Hgilbert is sympathetic to Steiner) Lachman's website is here - Lachman gives prominence in his article to Steiner's "super-sensible readings of the occult history of the world made available to him through what is called "the Akashic Record" ...telling them along the way about ancient Atlantis, life after death, astral and ætheric bodies, the true meaning of Christianity of the most influential – and simultaneously vilified – forces in the spiritual and cultural life of early 20th-century Europe." and of "Steiner's efforts to lead the Spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the Universe." All of this has been excluded by Hgilbert.

Here another objective biography which describes Anthroposophy as "an offshoot of Theosophy" and Steiner as "Influential in the worlds of ...occult studies"

Here another accurate (although sceptical) biography: which in its lead describes Steiner as "the head of the German Theosophical Society from 1902 until 1912, at which time he broke away and formed his Anthroposophical Society. ... by 1922 Steiner had established what he called the Christian Community, with its own liturgy and rituals for Anthroposophists....deeply interested in the occult. of many books and lectures with titles like ...Occult Science: An Outline (1913), Investigations in Occultism (1920), How to Know Higher Worlds (1904)"

Here a bio put out by the Anthroposophical movement - note how closely it matches Hgilbert's continuous (600 or so) edits removing all mention of Steiner as a religious or spiritual cult leader (as many academics refer to him) also removing all mention of his movement being an occult movement - even though Steiner himself so described it and even though many reliable academics of esotericism refer to it. ThanksMasteryorlando (talk) 17:19, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

3fold social order and Alexandre Saint Yves d'Alveydre[edit]

Alexandre Saint Yves d'Alveydre's social ideas are summarized here, see. pp. 338-340. They include elements such as the absolute control by the state of every aspect of society and every individual, government by a predestined elite, no individual having the right to challenge any aspect of governing forces. These ideas are so completely opposite to those of Steiner as to render ridiculous any suggestion that there is a link. I'd like to see Webb's claims quoted to evaluate them more fully - please quote these here before reinserting the claim of a link - as this is a stretch beyond the imaginable. hgilbert (talk) 13:17, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Hgilbert. One preliminary comment: I do not think the reference you have provided is particularly reputable or scholarly - in fact it seems distinctly dubious in both respects; however - and bearing in mind that it is entirely reductionist - it is not entirely wrong. Steiner certainly believes in a Spiritual Elite - he calls this "the priestly class." Indeed this is the whole basis of the hierarchical structure of the esoteric movement - as indeed it seems to be the whole basis for Steiner's exoteric and esoteric classes of School of Spiritual Science.(See Kiersch, History of the School of Spiritual Science.)

In the Karma lecture cycle Steiner talks of how "“In ancient India there were four castes, in ancient Greece, four estates. They came into being one after the other during the course of the second, third and fourth post-Atlantean periods. In the fifth post-Atlantean period ....not everyone can be a priest, but the priestly element can strive to become the powerful, the dominant estate.” (Karma Vol2 Lecture 20 15th January, 1917 | Dornach | GA0174)

You ask for the exact references: Herewith from Encyclopedia of the Unexplained Publ. Arkana (the Esoteric Imprint of Pengin Books) edited bt Richard Cavedish and Professor Rhine (of Duke University) This is from the entry on Steiner on p.239:

"In the confusion of 1919 he [Steiner] produced a theory of society which he called the Threefold Commonwealth and which was derived from the 19th Century French occultist Saint-Yves d'Alveydre"

Please also see James Webb, The Occult Establishment Publ, Open Court 1976 p.279 This states: "the design for The Threefold Commonwealth was taken lock stock and barrel from Papus' intellectual Master, Saint-Yves d'Alveydre. Saint-Yves had called the system Synarchy."

Herewith my own analysis (obviously classified as 'original research' were it not to be backing up the academic references I have provided.

Saint-Yves d'Alveydre sees society divided into "three essential functions"

(1) culture/science/education, (2) justice and (3) economy

He suggests that government should be composed of three councils or 'chambers' one of which - the 'metaphysical chamber'(science/culture/education) - "binds the whole structure together."

This is government by corporations. Democracy plays no part.

See Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre La France vraie Publ., Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1887 See also Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Mission des souverains Publ. Paris, Lahure p.416 et seq at

Likewise Steiner's “Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus” [threefold structuring of the social organism] also speaks of a triformed society: Culture, Polity and Economics constitute the activities of human society. Like Saint-Yves, Steiner presents the need for these three activities to be controlled independently or autonomous from one another.

Exactly like for Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, so for Steiner, "spiritual-cultural life" (the "metaphysical chamber") is to be at the controlling center of the three activities

Steiner, like d'Alveydre dismisses democracy as something that "lulls people to sleep" and "gives opportunity to the powers of darkness" See Lecture at Dornach of Oct 28, 1917 Fall of the Spirits of Darkness Lecture 14 (GA0177)

Also at p.223

Herewith from Steiner's book: Basic Issues of the Social Question, Rudolf Steiner (GA 23)deonstrating Webb's point:

"The ‘social question’ may be conceived of as three particular questions. The first pertains to the healthy form spiritual-cultural life should assume in the social organism, the second deals with the just integration of labour power in the life of the community and the third concerns the way the economy should function within this community."

"Through the triformation of the social organism. The self-sustaining economic organism, in cooperation with the rights organism, will completely separate the monetary element from rights-oriented labour relations. Legal facilities will not have a direct influence on monetary affairs, for these are the province of the economic administration. The legal relationship between management and labour will not express itself in monetary values which, after the abolition of wages (representing the exchange relation between commodities and labour-power), will only measure commodity (and service) values. From a consideration of the social triformation's effect on the social organism, one must conclude that it will lead to arrangements which are not present in the political forms which have hitherto existed."

"severance of judicial activities from state institutions. It will be incumbent on the latter [state institutions] to establish the rights between persons or groups of persons. Judicial decisions however, will depend upon facilities formed by the spiritual organization."

"These two spheres of the social organism must now be joined by a third that is shaped quite independently, from within its own life-possibilities — the cultural sphere, with its own legitimate order and administration. The cultural portions of the other two spheres belong in this sphere and must be submitted to it; yet the cultural sphere has no administrative power over the other two spheres and can influence them only as the organ systems coexisting within a complete natural organism influence each other." Masteryorlando (talk) 08:33, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Thank you; these sources make the derivation more plausible, though clearly it is not generally recognized, and neither author brings any evidence of the connection, merely states it. One wonders how they concluded that this was so.
As we have moved most of the detail about the subject into the article on Social Threefolding, I suggest that the connection to Saint-Yves d'Alveydre's ideas also be included in that article, where it can be expanded on sufficiently. Is that reasonable? hgilbert (talk) 12:41, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestion. To ignore that Rudolf Steiner derived the political ideas contained in his proposal for The Threefold Commonwealth from d'Alveydre and to relegate this to a very general article on "Social Threefolding" would, I think, be to distort Steiner's life. I think it is very important to place Steiner, (as he himself did,) between 1902 and 1914 as a member of this highly political hierarchical esoteric order. We do not know who his master was, (the rosicrucian initiation contained vows of secrecy and obedience,) but we do know that Schure, Besant and d'Alveydre were a part of this initiation. From an earlier age we know Blavatsky, Olcott, Levi, Bulwer-Lytton and Gebhard were a part of this initiation. Thus d'Alveydre (as part of that esoteric background to Steiner's Threefold Commnwealth) becomes crucial to any understanding of Steiner's mission. Do you think it was entirely coincidental the Indian National Congress originates out of the Theosophical Society, that Olcott sets up the Aryan League of Honor from within Theosophy, that he founds the Sinhalese Buddhist Schools in Sri Lanka, founds the Central Hindu College, that Besant comes to Theosophy out of the Fabian Society and the London labor movement, that Sotheran, another founder, is a socialist anarchist in New York, that Olcott and Yarker follow Mazzini, that Blavatsky claims that she fought with the Carbonari. Steiner too is closely involved in politics: the best man at his wedding is the anarchist Henry Mackay Steiner biographer Stewart Easton in "Rudolf Steiner: Herald of a New Epoch" (Anthroposophic Press, 1980) writes "Clearly such 'anarchistic' ideas had some similarity with those expressed by Rudolf Steiner in his Philosophy of Freedom, ...that thinking was a spiritual activity and that only through a developed thinking could the human spirit imagine for itself free deeds. Probably Mackay no more understood this concept than Steiner's other friends had done, but he seems to have been closer to Steiner in other respects, and the friendship between them was a very warm one. ...It may have been only for a brief moment, but it does seem that Steiner was tempted by the possibility of using his own philosophy as a basis for Mackay's political dreams, and for a time he did actually engage in promoting his ethical individualism as a political ideal. His way of discussing this episode so many years later in his autobiography makes it clear that he did indeed regard his inclination of that time as a real temptation. "'It was remote from my temptation when I formulated this,' he tells us, 'to make it the basis for a political conception. But the effort was made to change this conception from something belonging to the inner being of man into something external. The esoteric was to be diverted into the exoteric.'


You're welcome.

Actually they do bring evidence of the connection. Indeed describing the various connections is almost the entire theme of two of Webb's books Occult Underground and Occult Establishment - hence their titles!

FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY AND TOO COMPLEX FOR THE ARTICLE: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Masteryorlando (talkcontribs) 07:49, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The connection between Steiner and d'Alveydre is through the Esoteric lineage: this is Steiner's Rosicrucian initiation.

A key to understanding that lineage is Eliphas Levi and his 12 disciples.

In his very last address in Sept 1924 on "the instreaming of the Michael-Power into the spiritual events of man's life on earth" Steiner speaks of the successive incarnations of Elijah, Lazarus, St. John, Raphael - a lineage which he says more recently incarnated first in Goethe and later Levi. (A fairly extraordinary concept given Goethe and Levi's overlapping lives.) The importance of this, given Goethe's place in Steiner's heart is considerable. Steiner in that lecture also speaks of the "four times twelve human beings" in which "the Michael Thought becomes fully alive — four times twelve human beings, that is, who are recognised not by themselves but by the Leadership of the Goetheanum in Dornach."

This of course is the esoteric tradition of the master and 12 disciples.

When Blavatsky arrives in Marseilles from Adyar in 1884 it is Levi's disciple Baron Nicholas-Joseph Spedalieri who meets her off the boat. When the German Theosophical Society is founded in 1884 it is at the house of two other of Levi's 12 disciples - Marie Gebhard-L'Estrange and her husband Count Gebhard - indeed it is in Levi's Occult room there.

Blavatsky brings a large party from the London Lodge with her as well as Soloviev from Russia (and his mistress, his wife's young sister, Yuliana Glinka.)

Levi had been initiated in London by Bulwer-Lytton and so the esoteric 'family' connection is strong in the London lodge.,_1st_Baron_Lytton

Another of Levi' disciples is Encausse (Papus)

After Levi died Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (as Levi's nominated successor) becomes Encausse's Master. See Book of the Rosicurcae p.77

See also Prof. Mark J Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century. Publ. Oxford University Press US, 2004. Sedgwick writes of how Encausse briefly joined the Theosophical Society in France in 1884 and also its esoteric lodge, ‘Isis’ in Paris. But Encausse quarreled with a certain senior French theosophist. Col. Henry Olcott intervened and discovering that this theosophist - the President of Isis - had been dabbling in the sale of love potions and other dubious practices, Olcott consequently dissolved 'Isis' and created a new Theosophical lodge ‘Hermes’ with Encausse in the most important role of ‘Corresponding Secretary’ (same position Blavatsky held at Adyar.) Encausse also founded a monthly journal L'initiation - the main purpose of which seemed to be to attack contemporary secular Freemasonry.

In 1889 Encausse, revived the Martinist Order of Martinez de Pasqually, with his teacher, Saint-Yves d'Alveydre creating a new order, ‘l'Ordre des Supérieurs Inconnus’ including the independent ‘Group for Esoteric Studies’; (later renamed the Free School of Hermetic Sciences,) which would prepare people for entry into the inner circles both of the Theosophical Society and of the recently renovated Martinist Order.

Blavatsky saw such moves both as a threat to Theosophy and especially as a threat to her leadership and therefore she arranged for the establishment of a new journal La Revue Theosophique in which she attacked Encausse for moving away from Theosophy. In response Encausse founded a second journal Le Voile d'Isis (The Veil of Isis) - an ironic reference to Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled. The open hostilities between Blavatsky and Encausse saw the collapse of the Theosophical Lodge ‘Hermes’ in Paris and the corresponding growth of the Martinist Order.

Steiner's mentor Édouard Schuré was allied with this Martinist order as well as with the same Roscicrucian order as Besant and (likely also Steiner.) Indeed George Arundale's biography explains how Besant had been initiated by Arundale's aunt and includes a photograph of Besant in 1902 wearing an Rosicrucian 'adept' brooch. (This rather gives the lie to Steiner's claim to fall out with besant over Western Esotericism.)It was Schuré who sends Steiner's future wife Von Sivers to the theosophical Society in Berlin in November 1900. It is Schuré who in 1906 encourages Steiner to be independent of the London lodge and arranges Steiner's famous 1906 Esoteric lectures in Paris which first cock a snook to the London leadership (supposedly after Steiner fails his Rosicrucian leadership test in 1905 - at least so Max Heindel claimed.)

Schuré in his introduction to the French edition of Steiner's The Christian Mysteries also reproduced in the first English edition of The Way of initiation: or, How to Attain Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, writing in 1908, would describe how Steiner, "through his first Master, through the brotherhood with which he was associated, and by his own innermost nature, belongs [not to Theosophy but] to another school of Occultism, I mean to the esoteric Christianity of the West, and most especially to the Rosicrucian initiation."

Indeed one Rosicrucian order (FAR+C) claims Steiner was its Grand Master between 1898 and 1900 (succeeding from Levi who it was said was Grand Master from 1865 to 1874) See However I have not been able to verify this and it may be spurious - the dates are somewhat strange and somewhat contradict Steiner's esoteric initiation in London in 1902. Masteryorlando (talk) 11:15, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

School of Spiritual Science as University[edit]

It is incorrect to describe the School of Spiritual Science as a University.

(1.) Rudolf Steiner specifically stated that it was not a University. See Rudolf Steiner, The Constitution of the School of Spiritual Science Publ. Rudolf Steiner Press, 1980 p.42 Steiner says therein : "The School of Spiritual Science cannot be a college or University in the usual sense. It will therefore make no effort to enter into competition with these or to act as a substitute for them." Instead, said Steiner, of the School "esoteric penetration will be there for those who seek it at the Goetheanum."

(2.) Swiss Universities are chartered under Swiss law. The School of Spiritual Science is not so chartered.

Instead the purpose of the School of Spiritual Science

(1.) As it was formed in 1924 was as an "organ of initiative" for research and study and as "the soul of the Anthroposophical Society". (see Johannes Kiersch, A History of the School of Spiritual Science. Publ. Temple Lodge 2006. p.xiii.) BTW Temple Lodge the publisher was originally part of The Christian Community in London - so affiliated with the Goetheanum. The Anthroposophical Society sponsored Kiersch's book and paid for the translation. See also the Principles of the Anthroposophical Society adopted in 1925 whereby the Goetheanum is described in part as the School (principle 4) and the School is described as a centre of the Anthroposophical Society's activity (principle 5.)

(2) The purpose is described today by the School itself at its website at as follows: "In 1924 Rudolf Steiner developed a course of study based on meditative exercises that lead 'the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.' This is the basis for the work of the School of Spiritual Science"Masteryorlando (talk) 21:35, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I have adapted the text to read "School" rather than "University" hgilbert (talk) 12:30, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what the problem is.[edit]

Hmmm...I counted, and the article mentions the word "spiritual" around 60 and the word "esoteric" about 12 times. There is a whole section of "spiritual research". How could someone miss this? And there is not only a whole paragraph devoted to his connection with the Theosophical Society, but also a link to an entire article on the subject. hgilbert (talk) 00:15, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Here is the problem. As you know Steiner began his "Ministry" - that is his theosophical, later anthroposophical teachings and lectures in about 1902 and continued until 1924 shortly before his death.

He is barely remembered for his work before then - Philosophy of Freedom, the Goethe archive and work on Fichte being about the only exceptions.

The bulk of Steiner's teaching between 1902 and 1915 (over half of his ministry and the period during which he built up the movement) was through books and lectures.

Here below is a list of the bulk of those books and a majority of those lecture series (ignoring the private esoteric teachings and occult initiations) - see for a corroboration of these.

As you can see from the below list most of the subjects of his lectures are predominantly occult: esoteric, rosicrucian, religious, hermetic and gnostic. They deal primarily with highly esoteric spirituality.

Yes the Wikipedia biography includes the words 'Spiritual' but when you look at how that word is being used it is being used to HIDE THE ABOVE and NOT to clarify it.

Please see the use of the word "spiritual" in the Steiner biography. There it is confined to:

1. "Steiner advocated a form of ethical individualism, to which he later brought a more explicitly spiritual component."

2. "his philosophical work of these years, which he termed spiritual science, sought to provide a connection between the cognitive path of Western philosophy and the inner and spiritual needs of the human being."

3. "from his earliest philosophical phase through his later spiritual orientation ...he began lecturing about concrete details of the spiritual world"

4. "he lectured throughout much of Europe on his spiritual science replacing Madame Blavatsky's terminology with his own, and basing his spiritual research and teachings upon the Western esoteric and philosophical tradition."

5. "he articulated an ongoing stream of experiences that he claimed were of the spiritual world ...Steiner aimed to apply his training in mathematics, science, and philosophy to produce rigorous, verifiable presentations of those experiences."

6. "he met a simple herb gatherer, Felix Koguzki, who spoke about the spiritual world"

7. "In 1899 Steiner experienced what he described as a life-transforming inner encounter with the being of Christ"

All of these terms describe Steiner as a philosopher.

Similarly in the lead Steiner's work is described only in "two phases" - Steiner first as a philosopher (pre 1900) then as an artist (Post 1913.)

The period in between - which is in fact Steiner's crucial period as a Theosophist - the period when he builds his movement, develops his belief system, becomes initiated - is entirely and completely ignored. It is merely "links with theosophy" in the introduction and "he lectured throughout much of Europe on his spiritual science replacing Madame Blavatsky's terminology with his own, and basing his spiritual research and teachings upon the Western esoteric and philosophical tradition."

Yet when I read the below books and read the lectures during this period - which comprises the bulk of Steiner's output FOR ALMOST ALL OF HIS SPIRITUAL MINISTRY - incluing the basic texts used in Foundation Studies for Walforf teachers, I do not encounter Steiner as the secular philosopher, I encounter him as an occult teacher and leader, an esotericist and religious preacher - teaching and studying personal initiation,the occult and mysticism, Theosophy - and later as a Christian Hermeticist and Gnostic - in other words as a person entirely unrecognizable from the person your censorship is trying to portray in this article.

So would you mind telling me where in this article is this described - where is THE BULK OF STEINER'S TEACHING OUTPUT - described.

Do you honestly believe the three words "with links to theosophy" in the lead and the sentence: "he lectured throughout much of Europe on his spiritual science replacing Madame Blavatsky's terminology with his own, and basing his spiritual research and teachings upon the Western esoteric and philosophical tradition" repesent an adequate summary of fifteen years of output.

Why are the words "occult" "rosicrucian" "clairvoyant" "religious" - basically the words essential to describing fifteen years of his output virtually entirely omitted from the article?

Why are the "Occult" texts entirely missing from the Bibliography? Masteryorlando (talk) 02:56, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


Theosophy (1904) The Way of Initiation (1904) Cosmic Memory (1904) Occult Science: An Outline (1913), The Threshold of the Spiritual World (1918) Investigations in Occultism (1920) How to Know Higher Worlds (1904), The Ahrimanic Deception" (1919).


1904 The Migration of Races The History of Spiritism, Hypnotism and Somnambulism Mathematics and Occultism Greek and Germanic Mythology in the Light of Esotericism On Apocalyptic Writings, with special reference to the Apocalypse of St. John Theosophy and Tolstoi: On the Migration of Races The Work of Secret Societies in the World

1905 The Nature of the Theosophical Movement Schiller The Great Initiates Concerning the Temple Lost and Rediscovered On the Gospel of St. John Foundations of Esotericism Inner Development The Christmas Festival as a Symbol of the Sun Victory

1906 The Original Impulse Behind the Theosophical Movement John’s Gospel as a Record of Initiation Lucifer the Bearer of Light The Children of Lucifer The Interior of the Earth and Volcanic Eruptions The Intellect as a Gift from Lucifer Popular Occultism The Three Paths of Initiation At the Gates of Spiritual Science The Significance of Supersensible Knowledge The Occult Significance of the Blood Black and White Magic Esoteric Christianity The Yoga Path, Christian Gnostic Initiation, and the Esotericism of the Rosicrucians The Occult Basis of Music How Does One Gain Higher Knowledge in the Rosicrucian Sense? The Significance of Christmas from the Perspective of Spiritual Science

1907 Supersensible Knowledge Mental Disorders Viewed from the Standpoint of Spiritual Science The Lord’s Prayer: An Esoteric Study John's Gospel as a Record of Initiation Who are the Rosicrucians? Christian Initiation and Rosicrucian Training The Adept School of the Past: Mysteries of the Spirit Earlier Initiation and Esoteric Christianity Occult Seals and Columns The Initiation of the Rosicrucians Theosophy of the Rosicrucian Occult Anatomy -- Human Organs and their Transformation White Magic Contrasted with Black Magic Richard Wagner and Mysticism

1908 The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man Group Souls of Animals, Plants and Minerals Concerning the Spirits of Form Man and Woman in the Light of Spiritual Science Relationship Between Higher Worlds and Beings Shadow Beings, Phantoms and Demons Created by Man Himself The Gospel of St. John Universe, Earth and Man, in their Relationship to Egyptian Myths Philosophy and Anthroposophy Astral World and Devachan Life Between Two Reincarnations A Chapter of Occult History The Interpretation of Fairy Tales

1909 Mephistopheles and Earthquakes Spiritual Science and Questions of Health Practical Training in Thought The Principle of Spiritual Economy In Connection with Questions of Reincarnation Christianity in Human Evolution More Intimate Aspects of Reincarnation The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers. Lucifer Ahriman Results of Spiritual Scientific Investigations The Spiritual Hierarchies Ancient European Clairvoyance Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse The European Mysteries and Their Initiates The Western Ways of Initiation Rosicrucian Esotericism Man Between Death and Rebirth Stages in the Evolution of our Earth. Lemurian, Atlantean, Post-Atlantean Epochs On Karma, Reincarnation and Initiation The Gospel of St. John The East in Light of the West The Gospel of St. Luke The Mission of Spiritual Science The Mission of Religious Devotion The Spirit in the Realm of Plants The Law of Karma

1910 The True Nature of the Second Coming The Entrance of the Christ-Being into Evolution The Sermon on the Mount Mysticism The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ The Appearance of Christ in the Etheric The Land of Shambala Sleeping and Waking Life in Relation to the Planets Egyptian Mysteries of Osiris and Isis Experiences of Initiation in the Northern Mysteries Organs of Spiritual Perception Transformation of Soul-forces Reading in the Akasha Chronicle The Etheric Vision of the Future Manifestations of Karma The Mission of the Individual Folk Soul Elementary Existence and the Spiritual Beings The Harmony of the Bible with Clairvoyant Research The Gospel of St. Matthew On the Investigation and Communication of Spiritual Truths Concerning the Rosicrucian Mystery Play The Tasks of the Fifth Post-Atlantean Epoch Human Soul and Animal Soul: The Spirit in the Plant Kingdom Occult History

1911 Occult History The Penetration of the Buddha-Mercury Stream into Rosicrucianism Occult Physiology Zarathustra The Voice of the Angelos Son of God" and "Son of Man" The Work of the Ego in Childhood. A Contribution Toward and Understanding of Christ Spiritual Guidance of Man Rosicrucian Wisdom in Folk-Mythology Wonders of the World, Ordeals of the Soul The Christ Impulse The Etherization of the Blood From Jesus to Christ The Stuttgart Building: Seen from an Occult Point of View In What Sense Are We Theosophists and In What Sense Are We Rosicrucians? Death and Immortality in the Light of Spiritual Science Prophecy -- Its Nature and Meaning Christian Rosenkreutz and Jeshu ben Pandira The Hidden Depths of Soul Life Wisdom of the Spirit The World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit

1912 Christ and the Twentieth Century How to Prove Theosophy The Dawn of Occultism Reincarnation and Karma The Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature Occultism and Initiation Calendar of the Soul Anthroposophical Ethics Man in the Light of Occultism Earthly and Cosmic Man The Gospel of St. Mark Investigations Concerning the Life of Soul Between Death and Rebirth The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz. The Mission of Gautama Buddha on Mars The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of St. Paul

1913 Between Death and Rebirth The Essence of Anthroposophy The Mysteries of the East and of Christianity Between Death and Rebirth Occult Research into Life Between Death and a New Birth Horses that Can Count and Calculate Spiritual Science How Can We Gain Knowledge of the Supersensible Worlds? A Lecture from Life Between Death and Rebirth Evolution of Man's Senses: Effects of Esoteric Development The Legend of Paradise and the Legend of the Holy Grail. Centaur and Sphinx. Lucifer and Ahriman. On the Relationship with the Dead Intercourse with the Dead Occult Science and Occult Development. Christ at the Time of Golgotha and Christ in the 20th Century The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita Secrets of the Threshold Fifth Gospel - Investigating the Akasha Chronicle On the Fifth Gospel The Meaning of the Immortality of the Human Soul Christ and the Spiritual World and the Search for the Holy Grail

1914 Human and Cosmic Thought The Effects of the Christ Impulse in the Development of Humanity The Pre-Earthly Deeds of Christ The Inner Nature of Man and the Life Between Death and a New Birth How to Acquire Understanding of the Spiritual World Anthroposophy and Christianity Occult Reading and Occult Hearing Concerning the Origin and Nature of the Finnish Nation The Birth of Christ Within Us

1915 The Future Jupiter and Its Beings The Pythian, the Prophetic and Modern Clairvoyance The Life Between Birth and Death The Christ-Impulse as Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily Moral Impulses and Clairvoyant Knowledge Etheric Being in the Physical Human Being Meditation and Concentration. The Three Forms of Clairvoyance Christ in Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman Characteristics of Man's Occult Development The Tree of Life Faust's Ascension Chance, Providence, and Necessity How the Human Etheric is Related to the World The Anthroposophical Society as a Living Being Swedenborg: An Example of Difficulties in Entering Spiritual Worlds Sexuality and Modern Clairvoyance The Value of Thinking for a Knowledge Satisfying to Man Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century The Forming of Destiny and Life After Death The Jesus and Christ Problem of Earlier Times Course of the Year as the Picture of the Great Cosmic-Year — Preceding unsigned comment added by Masteryorlando (talkcontribs) 02:56, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Note that most of the writings you mention are actually listed in the bibliography. (Some under a different title; there are a number of translations.) There are 6,000+ lectures; there is no way to provide a representative selection of these, unfortunately. It's possible to create a List of Rudolf Steiner's works, if you'd like, and link to this. hgilbert (talk) 03:20, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks but you noticeably failed to answer the question as to why 15 years - over half of Steiner's main teaching life - is completely left out of the article or so reduced as to be meaningless. Why are the words "occult" "rosicrucian" "clairvoyant" "religious" - basically the words essential to describing almost all of Steiner's output during those fifteen years of his life virtually entirely omitted from the article? Also you again mislead. As you well know most of his lectures were lecture cycles comprising sometimes as many as 50 lectures in one title. Therefore these 200 lecture series titles which I listed do indeed provide the bulk of his output for that period (after the esoteric school non-public teachings, which were almost all occult, are removed) But again - more importantly - why are you so blatantly trying to stop me publishing what Steiner taught at that esoteric school? Do you honestly believe the three words "with links to theosophy" in the lead and the sentence: "he lectured throughout much of Europe on his spiritual science replacing Madame Blavatsky's terminology with his own, and basing his spiritual research and teachings upon the Western esoteric and philosophical tradition" repesent an adequate summary of those fifteen years of his esoteric and occult output.Don't you think that precisely deceitful action to hide this stirs up the anti-Waldorf and anti-Steiner rhetoric accusing the movement of Satanism?Masteryorlando (talk) 04:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a great deal of knowledge (or an agenda, either way) on Steiner, anthroposophy, or Waldorf education, but looking through the article, it's clear to me that these themes are prominent throughout Steiner's intellectual life, especially in the period in question. The "Spiritual research" and "Spritual science" sections are particularly notable in this respect, but relevant notions are expressed in several other sections, too. /ninly(talk) 05:18, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Ninly. Here is the opening in the German wikipedia article on Steiner ( which is very very much more balanced:
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (* 27. Februar[1] 1861 in Kraljevec bei Čakovec (ungarisch: Murakirály), damals Königreich Ungarn und Kaisertum Österreich, heute Kroatien; † 30. März 1925 in Dornach, Schweiz) war ein österreichischer Esoteriker und Philosoph. Er begründete die Anthroposophie, eine gnostische Weltanschauung[2][3], die an die christliche Theosophie, das Rosenkreuzertum sowie die idealistische Philosophie anschließt[4] und zu den neumystischen Einheitskonzeptionen der Zeit um 1900[5] gezählt wird. Auf Grundlage dieser Lehre gab Steiner einflussreiche Anregungen für verschiedene Lebensbereiche, etwa Pädagogik (Waldorfpädagogik), Kunst (Eurythmie, Anthroposophische Architektur), Medizin (Anthroposophische Medizin) und Landwirtschaft (Biologisch-dynamische Landwirtschaft).
This translates as:
Joseph Lorenz Rudolf Steiner (February 27 [1] in 1861 in Kraljevec Čakovec (in Hungarian: Murakirály), then Kingdom of Hungary and Austrian Empire, today Croatia, Died March 30, 1925 in Dornach, Switzerland) was an Austrian occultist and philosopher. He founded anthroposophy, a gnostic belief system [2] [3], derived from Christian Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, and Idealistic Philosophy [4] and a part of the German Occult Revival of the early 1900's [5]. Steiner's doctrine was influential in many different fields including education (Waldorf education), art (Eurythmy, Anthroposophical architecture), medicine (anthroposophic medicine) and agriculture (bio-dynamic agriculture).

Masteryorlando (talk) 22:10, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

R. Bruce Elder[edit]

R Bruce Elder is referred to in the lead as the source for: "In the first, more philosophically oriented phase, Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism" HOWEVER this quote is taken from a book on film history (R. Bruce Elder, Harmony and dissent: film and avant-garde art movements in the early twentieth century, ISBN 978-1-55458-028-6, p. 32) and is taken entirely out of its context and absolutely does NOT say what the lead quote tries to make it say "to find a synthesis." The full context of the reference pp.31-32 is on the contrary as follows: "The occultists belief that reality is essentially a single all-pervading spiritual substance was the foundation [of Theosophy] ...Anthroposophy has something of the character of Christianized Theosophy for it depicts the Incarnation [of Christ] as a central event in the evolution of the cosmos...The problem as Steiner understood it, was this: How can one reconcile scientific and mystical insights with reality? ...Steiner believed he had worked out a method for applying scientific strategies to induce spiritual visions, which would allow people to validate empirically the contents of spiritual experience." To paraphrase this as "Steiner attempted to find a synthesis between science and mysticism" is a complete distortion. Even were the author to say what the lead purports him to say, however, the author is a film critic unqualified as the "peer reviewed" academic required for such speculative pronouncements about Steiner.Masteryorlando (talk) 22:27, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

These are good points. I guess your reasoning would also preclude as a WP:RS Gary Valentine Lachman who was primarily a bassist for Blondie (band). Perhaps we have to look beyond the primary profession before deciding this issue. Or we have to exclude both sources, don't we? --EPadmirateur (talk) 22:38, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Whilst I would certainly want to see corroboration of any controversial items written by Lachman, however to characterise Lachman as 'primarily a bassist for Blondie' in the context of his writing on the occult is absurd. Lachman is a respected University Lecturer on the Occult DESPITE not BECAUSE of his membership of Blondie. See here for a lecture he recently gave at Middlesex University See here for his webpage: See also He has written 12 books on the occult, contributes regularly to respected Newspapers and Magazines in England on the subject and is recognized as an expert - albeit a popular rather than an academic writer. I would however certainly view a quote from Lachman about Steiner to be suspect if it was drawn from a book by Lachman about his band "Blondie" or from a book on "pop music". Clearly this is not the case in Lachman references being used here. Also I am not aware that Lachman is being used to back up any controversial statement in the article. There is clearly no controversy, I presume, about the truth of the FACT that "some said fire was arson and some said it might be electrical." This sentence which I removed, on the contrary is written by a film critic who has no apparant academic qualifications at all with respect to Anthropsophy writing in a book about Movies. Your riposte here again betrays clear evidence of bias. You have noticeably completel failed to address that this quote is taken entirely out of its context and absolutely does NOT say what the lead quote tries to make it say Are you prepared for a mediator to mediate these issues because we seem to be getting nowhere fast wasting time on minutiae?Masteryorlando (talk) 00:00, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
    • ^
    • ^ Steiner, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts (1924)
    • ^ Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy Publ. Magazin fur Literatur 1897. Article at
    • ^ Gary Lachman, Rudolf Steiner Peguin Books 2007 p.133 et seq.
    • ^ Lachman ibid p.154, also see Édouard Schuré’s 1908 Introduction to the First French Edition of Rudolf Steiner’s Le Mystère Chrétien et les Mystères Antiques [Christianity As Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity (1902)(GA0008)] 1st French Edition Publ. Paris, Librairie Academique, Perrin et Cie. 1908. An English translation of Schuré’s introduction was reprinted in the 1910 English language edition of Steiner’s The Way of Initiation: or, How to Attain Knowledge of the Higher Worlds Reprinted New York, McCoy 1910: "These lectures give a kind of summary of what Rudolf Steiner calls Anthroposophy … [a] vast and all-embracing philosophy. Its principles are contained in a theogony, cosmogony and psychology complete in themselves. It lays down the basis of a moral philosophy, an art of education, a science of aesthetics. … At the time when Rudolf Steiner entered the Theosophical Society - which he had chosen as his first field of action - he was already fully master of the doctrine he owed to his own [Rosicrucian] Initiation. These lectures, given in the year 1906, are proof of this. …The essential difference between Indian Theosophy and Anthroposophy lies in the supreme rôle attributed by Anthroposophy to the Christ in human evolution and also in its connection with Rosicrucian tradition."
    • ^ R. Bruce Elder, Harmony and dissent: film and avant-garde art movements in the early twentieth century, Publ. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2008 ISBN 978-1-55458-028-6, p. 32
    • ^ Geoffrey Ahern, Sun at Midnight, Publ. Cambridge, Clarke 2010 Rev Ed. pp.87 et seq.(based on Ahern's Phd in Sociology of Religion for the London School of Economics)
    • ^ Rudolf Steiner quoted in "Rudolf Steiner: Herald of a New Epoch" by Stewart Copinger Easton Publ. Steinerbooks p.125 "I will ally myself only with a movement that is connected exclusively with Western occultism and cultivates its development"