Rudolf Steiner, Racism, Nazis & why Anthroposophy doesn’t grow up

August 24, 2015

Anthroposophy was developed by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in the early part of last century. It is best known for Waldorf Schools and Biodynamic farming. I studied it quite deeply for several years in my youth. I read a mountain of books, attended training courses and a national conference, and taught at a couple of Steiner schools. (This was in the late 1980s and early 90s.) I became a member of the Anthroposophical Society and seriously considered a career as a teacher in the Waldorf School system. I even went to their head quarters in Switzerland, a visit I still happily remember.


The Goetheanum: designed by Rudolf Steiner

Several things troubled me however, most especially that some aspects of Anthroposophy appeared surprisingly racist. I put up with it for a while, believing that it only sounded racist because of the time and culture Steiner came from. My tolerance level was also raised because, as I was frequently told, the Nazis had closed the Waldorf schools. I accepted the implication that Anthroposophy must be the very antithesis of Nazism.

It is indeed true that Waldorf schools in Germany were ordered to close by Heinrich Himmler’s deputy, Reinhard Heydrich; but here’s a word of advice to Anthroposophists: if you tell people that your movement was persecuted by the Nazis, you also need to tell the rest of the story — like the fact that Rudolf Hess supported Anthroposophy and wanted to keep the schools open. Why wasn’t I told that?

And why wasn’t I told that although Himmler didn’t like the schools, he did like Biodynamic agriculture? Even more importantly there was a Biodynamic farm at Dachau concentration camp. Weleda, (the Anthroposophical company well known today for cosmetics), provided doctors at Dachau with chemical supplies for experiments on prisoners. But I never heard anything about that when I was told about the closing of the schools.

When I was studying Anthroposophy, I bought two large books by the prominent Anthroposophist and contemporary of Steiner, Günther Wachsmuth. I referred to them regularly. (One was called Reincarnation as a Phenomenon of Metamorphosis. Anything with that many syllables in such a short space, I thought, must be worth reading!) Even though this was long ago, imagine how I felt recently when I found out he was a Nazi sympathizer. I am not happy about this.

I don’t think that Rudolf Steiner was especially racist by temperament. The impression I got from his writings was that he was a sincere, intelligent and generally decent fellow — just like most of the Anthroposophists I’ve known. But that is really my point. How did you guys wind up holding views that look distinctly racist? And why conceal your movement’s involvement with the Nazis, while pretending it was singled out for persecution? There would have been time for an extra sentence or two. Believe it or not you guys, people generally find the Nazis quite an interesting topic of conversation. It wasn’t me who cut the conversation short.

Had this been dealt with honestly and transparently by the Anthroposophical movement, they would not look as bad as they do to me now.

Sadly, Anthroposophy is largely based on the idea of a hierarchy of races. This is of course inherently and inevitably racist. It is the kind of ideology that has been utterly smashed to pieces by modern genetics. There may be a biological meaning for the term “race”, but there is no biological basis for constructing any kind of evolutionary racial hierarchy.

Anthroposophy, however, teaches that there is a spiritual basis for such a hierarchy. And guess which race is at the top…. And guess which spiritual movement is at the top of the top! Correct. This is where Anthroposophists get that sense of entitlement and superiority from. As they see it, anyone who finds their ideas racist doesn’t understand Anthroposophy and can safely be looked down their noses upon.

But this snootiness is unmasked as hubris as soon as the rest of the Nazi story comes out. Sure, involvement with the Nazis doesn’t automatically imply complicity, and there is no place here for guilt by mere association. But like it or not, it means that questions must be answered.

Usually their first answer is to snootily say that there are important distinctions between Steiner’s racial concepts and those of the Nazis. This site (in German) uses a typical and archetypically Anthroposophical piece of evasion:

“Steiner’s concept of race arises from a completely different motivation from that of fascism. While the National Socialist concept of race is derived from the materialistic evolutionary theory of Darwin, Steiner does not see “Root Races” as an ethnic category, rather as phases of human development over periods of thousands of years.” (My translation. See footnote *1 for original passage.)

Anthroposophy they say, is derived from spiritual sources and is therefore qualitatively different to Nazism. Instead they blame Nazi ideology on “materialistic science”, and in particular Charles Darwin.

This is a nice deflection, but it’s factually wrong. The idea of any kind of objective “natural” evolutionary hierarchy is exactly the kind of thinking that Darwin destroyed (by tying evolution to habitat). And more importantly, eugenics is in fact not based on Darwinian natural selection, but on artificial selection, which farmers have practiced for thousands of years. Furthermore, Darwinian survival of the fittest means survival of the best adapted to a particular habitat — not the “fittest” according to some absolute standard of superiority — as it is in Nazi race theory….

……..And as it is in Anthroposophical race theory.

The critic Peter Staudenmaier points to the problem that the authors of the above quote evade. He notes a book in which “Steiner prints a diagram showing Africa on the bottom, Asia in the middle, and Europe on top… Steiner explains that the “Negro race” is tied to humanity’s childhood, “the yellow and brown races” to adolescence, and Europeans to adulthood and maturity.”

Staudenmaier continues:

Steiner then insists that this racially stratified hierarchy “is simply a universal law” and indeed a product of inescapable destiny: “The forces which determine man’s racial character follow this cosmic pattern. The American Indians died out, not because of European persecutions, but because they were destined to succumb to those forces which hastened their extinction.”

This is where the trouble really starts for Anthroposophists. We are wading into seriously racist esoteric waters here. And yes, Steiner’s ideas can be distinguished from Nazism, but not in any way that alters their inherently racist character.

The Nazis see the Aryan Race as bring permanently at the top of a racial pyramid. Steiner envisaged more of a rotational system, with certain cultures flourishing in certain epochs, and then subsiding. Currently the Arayan Race is on top, but this will change eventually.

This is indeed a less racist system than that of the Nazis. Congratulations.

Anthroposophists are happy to explain this further: individual souls are not even bound to reincarnate only into one race. Well developed souls can make the jump into an ascending race. While the more backward souls stay where they are……. In the backward races…..

Welcome back to the suspiciously racist-sounding racial hierarchy.


You might now be inclined to say: Is it not an extremely bitter thought that whole peoples remain immature and do not develop their capacities; that only a small group becomes capable of providing the germ for the next civilization? This thought will no longer disquiet you if you distinguish between race development and individual soul-development, for no soul is condemned to remain in one particular race.

The race may fall behind; the community of people may remain backward, but the souls progress beyond the several races…. No soul is bound to a backward body if it does not bind itself to it. (Quoted by Staudenmaier)

Anthroposophists argue that in the current epoch, humanity is developing the soul quality of the “I am”. Or rather, the Aryan Race is developing the “I am”, under the guidance of the Archangel Michael. Individual blacks might possibly have developed their “I am” as much as some whiteys, but the black race as a whole is kind of, well, you know….

….And anyway, it’s simply a fact. It can’t be racist if it’s a fact….

And that is their best shot at a defense — if Steiner’s claims are true, then Anthroposophy is not a racist ideology.


Those people, however, who had developed their [“I am”] too little, and who were too exposed to the influences of the sun, were like plants: they deposited too many carbonic constituents beneath their skin and became black. This is why the Negroes are black. Thus both east of Atlantis in the black population and west of Atlantis in the red population we find survivors of the kind of people who had not developed their ego-feeling in a normal way. The human beings who had developed normally lent themselves best to progress. (Quoted by Staudenmaier)

To put this more clearly: Steiner is saying that black people are not inferior because their skin is black; but rather, that they are black because they are inferior. (Update: If you doubt that people still believe this, just read through the comments section below!)

In the 1990s, those Anthroposophists who were concerned about this apparent racism were sometimes confronted by gloating traditionalists, claiming to have new proof of Steiner’s race theories. The fallen ancient Lemurian Race, known to materialistic scientists as the Australian Aborigines, have indeed become decadent, they claimed, and will soon die out. The Aborigines even say so themselves!

It was all in written in a book by an American woman who said she had been contacted by the surviving members of the last tribe of True Aborigines. They know that their time on earth has passed, and they are pleased that they fulfilled their spiritual role. They have chosen to die out through voluntary celibacy. Soon there will be no True Aborigines left, as the urbanized tribes have become decadent and lost their racial purity.

This book, Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under, is still referred to today by many Anthroposophists, especially in Germany. But the only thing the book is good for is detecting closet racists. Its author never met any lost tribe, and was never even in the desert. In fact she was working in a pharmacy in Brisbane at the time her story supposedly took place. The only Aborigines she met were the ones who confronted her after her book was published, demanding she withdraw the book and admit the hoax.

Australian Aborigines have survived more than 200 years of genocide. International support is a vital part of their continued survival, and Marlo Morgan has cashed in on the world wide respect and interest they have earned. But according to Marlo Morgan, they are not true Aborigines. And according to Anthroposophy, their time has passed and their extinction is inevitable.

And according to me, if you still believe any of that, you make me sick.

Ultimately, Anthroposophy hits the same wall that any religious ideology hits. There is no evidence whatsoever for any of its supernatural claims. (And sorry, but studiously interpreting everything according to Anthroposophical concepts doesn’t count as evidence.) The fact that these claims are based on an outdated racist ideology akin to Nazism just makes it hit that wall a bit harder: how can it discard obviously false claims without having the rest of the edifice crumble along with it?

There is an interesting exchange of articles between the afore mentioned Peter Staudenmaier and Anthroposophist Peter Waage. (See footnote *2 for links.) Waage confronts some issues that Anthroposophists usually sidestep, and he makes an interesting concession. Referring to a list of Steiner’s most embarrassingly racist statements (like how pregnant women shouldn’t read books by negroes or they’ll have mulatto kids), he admits that Steiner said some things that are so ridiculous that they “smell more like beer joints than spiritual insight.”

This is the kind of admission I would like to see more often from Anthroposophists. 

Waage continues:

Staudenmaier writes, “Today anthroposophists often try to excuse or explain away such hair-raising statements by claiming that Steiner was only a product of his time.” He [Staudenmaier] doesn’t find this very convincing, among other things because Steiner claimed a unique degree of spiritual clairvoyance. With the substantial reservations I have made plain in this article, I must say that I am in agreement with Staudenmaier here. Although it only concerns an infinitesimal portion of his works, and although Steiner cannot be called a racist, such utterances about people with a different complexion cannot possibly be synchronized with the intention of possessing the degree of spirituality and insight that Steiner is doing. [emphasis added]

This is a welcome exception to the rule of snootiness and denial. But it appears near the end of an article that is otherwise typically snooty and denially.

Furthermore, Waage uses this concession to disguise his evasion of a more important point. These weren’t just racist outbursts in a beer hall that got picked up by a stray stenographer. And they don’t merely concern an “infinitesimal portion” of his ideas. They came straight out of the foundational concepts of Anthroposophy. Excising them from the canon is not like removing a wart. It’s more like smashing down one of the central pillars.

Waage does not explore what led Steiner to make such “errors”. Nor does he admit that they follow just as logically from the fundamental concepts of Anthroposophy as anything else he said.

A final ploy is to argue that the movement has done good work against racism. Waldorf Schools in South Africa apparently opposed Apartheid. Waage argues that:

it is the Waldorf schools with blacks and whites in the same classroom during the apartheid years that represent the anthroposophical movement; not the anthroposophists who happened to sympathize with Nazism – nor Nazis with anthroposophical sympathies.

This is all praiseworthy, but it doesn’t deal with the problem of racist ideology. It just shows that some schools are smart enough to ignore Steiner’s basic teachings

Waage also ignores them, but he goes further. He tips a whole bucket of whitewash on the issue — anthroposophists who happened to sympathize with Nazism”???? As if it’s the merest coincidence!

To quote Steiner:

If one national civilization spreads more readily, and has greater spiritual fertility than another, then it is quite right that it should spread.

…Again, this by itself is not Nazism. But it makes it quite easy to see why a significant number of leading Anthroposophistshappened to sympathize with Nazism.”

I will note another parallel — to Social Darwinism. This is a kind of  “survival of the spiritually fittest” through “spiritual selection” where victory demonstrates greater “spiritual fertility” — just as in Social Darwinism only with even less evidence and a bit crazier. The victor’s crimes are excused of course, not as nature’s law but as Spirit’s law: the “backward races” would have died out anyway.

Wanna know what I think?

I think it is indeed possible to be spiritually backward and to have an under-developed soul. And just like the racist in the pub, it’s unlikely that those afflicted with it will realize it.

Posted by Yakaru

*1 original passage:
“Der Rassenbegriff Steiners ist nach Ansicht seiner Vertreter gegenüber dem des faschistischen Rassismus grundlegend anders motiviert. Während der Rassenbegriff des Nationalsozialismus aus der materialistischen Evolutionstheorie Darwins abgeleitet ist, verstehe Steiner die “Wurzelrassen” nicht als ethnische Zuordnung, sondern als in große Zeitepochen von mehreren tausend Jahren einzuordnende menschliche Entwicklungsstadien.”

*2 Exchange of articles:
Anthroposophy and Ecofascism, by Peter Staudenmaier (revised 2008)
Humanism and Polemical Populism, by Peter Norman Waage
Anthroposophy and its Defenders, by Peter Staudenmaier and Peter Zegers

*Regarding genetics and racism, see this negative review of a book proposing a genetic basis for cultural differences (already linked in the text above).

*Update: As mentioned in the comments — another relevant article (includes more quotes from Steiner and various attempts at retractions from schools):
The Myth of the Top of the Tree Evolving Along Hierarchical Races

*Update: A commenter provided a link to a news article in German about BD Agriculture in Dachau Concentration Camp, and kindly translated the opening paragraphs.

*Another Update, 21.7.17 — I have added a correction to the text, noting that it was not Himmler who “closed the schools” as I clumsily stated, but rather a subordinate of his in the SS, Reinhard Heydrich. As well as correcting me on this, commenter Tom Mellet also provided some important details that I would have included in the text, had I known of them earlier:

There were nine Waldorf schools in Germany in 1933, with several thousands pupils. The only Waldorf schools that were actually closed by the Nazi authorities were the Stuttgart school in 1938 and the Dresden school in 1941. The remaining schools closed between 1938 and 1941 for a variety of reasons, in some cases including harassment and obstruction by some Nazi officials. A faction of the Nazis was flatly opposed to anthroposophy and Waldorf all along, and this faction eventually won the upper hand in mid-1941.

— Dr Staudenmaier



  1. Very interesting article. Thanks for writing it.

    Coincidentally enough, we ourselves published an article on Steiner and his ideas on race practically at the same time as yours: http://www.steinermentary.com/SM/Race.html

  2. Thanks!
    I’ve added a footnote with a link to your article.

    The statements from the various schools reflects my own experience too. They refuse to admit that Steiner was factually wrong and talking rubbish, merely that the statements were “unfortunate”. The more I read of this, the more I suspect that their refusal to deal honestly with this issue is itself a product of an implicit belief in their own superiority — as reflected, perhaps, in the incidents described here–

  3. Yes the incidents at Te Ra were horrendous, especially when all these parents wanted were simple answers to their questions. It happened to us too – and was the reason we started The Steinermentary Project in the first place. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t part of a group. It was just us two with three little children, but we suffered the same vilification, ostracisation, and smears in the local area. All from a “kinder, gentler” community…

    Our personal story is chronicled here: http://www.titirangisteinermessenger.com

  4. I did some teaching in a couple of Steiner schools in Australia, mostly filling in short term. One parent was pleased when she saw me stopping kids from bullying her son. She said that whenever she had complained to the previous teacher he had said her son “should toughen up”.

    Having read your story and some of the testimonials, I suppose that won’t surprise you to hear that. Being pushed and repeatedly held under water? Being left unsupervised in the bush with a known bully and threatened with an axe??? And then expelled for complaining?

    I am glad you stood up to these people and glad that Human Rights Commission stepped in.

  5. Thanks, and yet you wouldn’t believe the number of people who have said that our kids’ expulsions had nothing to do with Steiner’s pedagogy and belief in karma, but everything to do with us, the kids’ parents and our behaviour.

  6. I taught in a lot of schools, but it’s only in Steiner schools that I’ve seen or heard of bullying being treated, essentially, as part of the curriculum. Sticks and stones will stimulate the development of the etheric body…

    I don’t know why they deny it or think the accusation is outlandish. They happily admit to believing that deadly childhood illnesses are a great thing for the soul’s development.

  7. An excellent piece. Steiner advocates seem to have no desire to accept that their philosophy is fundamentally racist and have no open and rational system capable of modernizing their dogma. Once one knows about their core beliefs, it’s impossible to feel completely safe in their company – not that one thinks they might use violence but that they will be secretly assessing one’s worth compared to the Aryan ideal or even making such assessments subconsciously.

  8. “I don’t know why they deny it or think the accusation is outlandish. They happily admit to believing that deadly childhood illnesses are a great thing for the soul’s development.”

    In our experience they’re not open about that either, officially claiming it’s up to the individual family’s choice. We had to do some digging ourselves to find the reasons behind it all:


    But there are a lot of anti-vax people out there so attracting them makes good business sense. But it’s doubtful those very same families would be open to having the staff let their kids be bullied because they were seen to have been bullies in a former life.

    Oh and those blaming us for our kids’ expulsion and smearing us to all and sundry wasn’t done solely by Steiner advocates. It’s all too easy to attack the victims or the parents of victims who advocate for them, isn’t it.

  9. @Nick Nakorn,
    Yes– it’s fundamentally disrespectful to assume that autistic people “withdrew from life” before they were born, and all the other entirely bogus ways of categorizing human beings. I notice your site that you’ve been energetically (um, wrong word I guess!) opposing Steinerist nonsense in the media. I realize I should have used the term “systemic racism”.

    I’ve only experienced Steiner schools as a teacher from the inside, and also from a very anti-vax comminity in Australia (which coincidentally also leads the country in measles and chicken pox), so I probably overestimate their general openness/pride about that. I was always aware, however, of the duplicitous way the philosophy was presented to the public — always justified with teh idea that the public “isn’t ready” to hear the higher truths.

    They also claim that they don’t teach anthroposophy to the kids, but what they fail to realise is that the entire Steiner curriculum is based on the assumption that anthroposophy is factually true. So they teach about various historical epochs with the assumption that children recapitulate the “evolution of consciousness” in their individual growth — which (as you know, of course), rests squarely on racist beliefs.

    As a teacher and (currently) social worker, I am well aware of how frequently parents get upset over minor problems and want someone to blame for their major problems… But I am stunned that anyone would read your case and *not* realise that drowning and axe-wielding are indeed legitimate causes for concern! Some people just have trips with authority, and for some reason, authority is something Steinerists are surprisingly good at playing at!

  10. Stunned you may be, as we were, but how about this: once we settled with the school through human rights, and the school finally admitted that our child’s accounts of bullying were honest (ie that the attacks as described by her took place), they then published on their website an “open letter” going against everything they signed in the human rights settlement, and once again, casting doubt on our daughter’s accounts of the horrendous bullying she endured, claiming that there was no evidence for any of it.

    The people who attacked us and said what happened at the school was all our fault, then said that that “open letter” was the “truth” as opposed to what the school agreed to sign through human rights, and further “evidence” to keep attacking us.

  11. Hitler’s own disdaining remarks regarding Rudolf Steiner and the Anthroposophists appeared as early as 1921. [See Note 1] By spring of 1933, articles criticizing the movement began appearing more frequently in National Socialist newspapers. By summer of that year, Steiner’s books were banned from public libraries in Bavaria, and study groups and branches of the Anthroposophical Society, along with other cultural organizations, were ordered to submit to National Socialistic leadership. — YOUR PROPAGANDA ANT WORKING ON ME YOU DAFTY- Regards from Scotland but your spouting mince !!

  12. Go back and read the post you idiot – I already noted Nazi opposition and the closing of the schools. If you wish to comment again please say something relevant to the points I raised.

    And if you are going to insult me, at least learn how to use an apostrophe.

  13. Hmmmm…. I thought the ultimate aim was to overcome rascism and also and be aware we are all in this boat together. It is early days for Anthroposophy to manifest in it’s true endeavour. Greetings!

  14. @annonaeo
    I’m sorry, I have no idea what you are doing with that comment. You link your name to an anthroposophical website with no posts at all, and leave a comment that sounds like it was intended to mean something.

    I will note you down as an arrogant anthroposophist who wants to announce their superiority and is not troubled by accusations of racism.

    You’ve had well over 100 years to “manifest your true endeavour”, and you’re still clinging on to eighteenth century racist dogma.

  15. Hi Yakaru,

    I came across your blog after a Steiner Facebook article where FB recommends related sites. I’m glad to see it but I’m puzzled why you haven’t updated all your Staudenmaier stuff. His Ecofascism article is 16 years old now and in 2010 he got his PhD at Cornell with a dissertation on Anthroposophy during the Nazi time. He’s given me permission to send it out as a PDF for free to anyone who asks for it.

    Send me your email address if you’re interested.

    I have more Steiner race goodies for you.

    Best regards,

    Tom Mellett
    Los Angeles, CA

  16. Hello Yakaru,

    I translated the opening paragraphs of a feature article that appeared in Frankfurt’s main newspaper, the FAZ, almost 3 years ago. The photograph shows the ruins of a greenhouse that used to be part of the thriving Bio-Dynamic Plantation at Dachau Concentration Camp that was created and supervised by an ardent Nazi follower of B-D practices, Heinrich Himmler.


    Nazi Nutrition: “HEIL, HERBS!”

    By Jan Grossarth
Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung
    September 13, 2013

    translated by Tom Mellett

    80 years ago, the Nazi regime created the Reichsnährstand (RNS) = The Reich Food Estate. Here the farmer became esoteric and whole-grain bread became a political issue — and German careers took their course.

    “Heinrich Himmler liked to visit the Dachau plantation and made sure everything was going well there. He would ask his SS brothers if ‘alles war in Ordnung’ in the bio-dynamic herb garden. And everything was always in the very best of order: There were gladiolas, thyme and savory sprouting in long lines facing the sun. The bio-dynamic herb garden was located right outside the Dachau concentration camp.

    Many hundreds of prisoners, who were herded there every morning as slave labor, would bring in wheelbarrows filled with bags of organic medicinal herbs into the field — and later wheel back the emaciated corpses of prisoners who did not survive the workday.

    Today the plantation is in disrepair. The glass panes of the greenhouses are broken, irrigation pipes are rusted through, and the herb beds are now overgrown. This locale north of Munich is a macabre relic of Nazi nutrition policy. Cow horns were ground up here, moon phases were studied, and the SS leader Heinrich Himmler himself was devoted to esotericism and to Steiner’s agriculture with all its unconventional recipes.

    From this SS-owned plantation, black pepper would be shipped to the Eastern Front while other herbs were used for human experiments with homeopathic medicines. Merck, the pharmaceutical company, ordered rose-hips, and the citizens of Dachau shopped at the farm store. Here the co-existence of genocide and unprecedented state health care was simply taken for granted. 

    It is a baffling relic. Himmler’s greenhouses leave as many questions as shards of glass: Why were the Nazis occupied, not only — as is widely known — with hallucinated enemies, weapons and contours of the cranium, but also with basil? Why was it so important to them what people ate? — [Just like today, Nazi] food was regional, organic, seasonal, unprocessed, rich in vitamins and low in meat, produced by rural farms, free from pesticides, whatever anyone could wish for. . . . ” 

    PHOTO CAPTION: Grass grows over the plantation in Dachau, where the Nazi dictatorship had cultivated medicinal herbs.

  17. Black people hold a lesser
    Intellectual development. And Aryana have seemed to developed further understanding of the I AM.
    This says a great deal about the spirits and highers are working with us, we must endeavour to steer mankind towards the Christ I Am

  18. Hi Tom,
    I’d be very interested in new work from Dr Staudenmaier. (My email is yakaru @gmail.com)

    Thanks for linking to and even translating part of that utterly horrifying article. I will write some more on this soon. I am really quite shocked by all this.

  19. @Rooshic,
    I assume you are not a Poe, and *not* being ironic with that incoherent attempt at commenting. Irony is way beyond the capacities of literal-minded religious fanatics like you.

    I thought briefly about deleting your comment because it’s against my comment policy to allow racist insults, but instead I will leave it up — that’s a much more effective way of demonstrating the semi-literate absurdity of white supremacism.

    At least you won’t be bothering womankind with your incoherent ranting.

  20. So true what you say. Steiner schools claim not to be religious but they are fundamentalist in their beliefs.

  21. Just came upon this rather accidentally but really appreciate your posting it, and documenting your positions. I didn’t send my kids to Waldorf, much of it seemed wonderful, but somehow, just a little too wonderful. I didn’t investigate it fully, but somehow the material you’ve posted confirms my concerns. I know great folks whose kids are in Waldorf — hopefully they can candidly and courageously throw out that which is rotten and retain that which is good.

  22. Thanks for your comment!

    There is plenty that is praiseworthy among Steiner’s ideas and his followers could have contributed something to educational practice, in my opinion. But they make the same mistakes that all literal-minded religious believers make — refuse to accept the possibility that their holy man was not divinely inspired and that the obvious mistakes he made were indeed mistakes; which in turn leads to the bigger problem of those who think they have inside information to the workings of the universe getting bloated egos and becoming authoritarian.

    The pattern of authoritarian teachers bullying parents has the same origin as their failure to deal with their own racism. As always, literalism leads directly to authoritarianism.

  23. What is believed in such worldviews is that there are “greater forces” at work in the world, creating wars, migrations, mass rapes, disease, drought, etc. for the purpose of “purifying the souls of humanity” (as in Job’s “testing by God”) and, in doing so, “evolving and engineering humanity.” Such a “divine plan” is hidden, unknown to humans for the most part, especially to “materialistic science.” Mistakes are made by the human personalities and their interpretation or understanding or application of the “information” they possess. Are races meant to come and go? Do cultures serve a divine but temporary function and purpose? If plants and animals rule and become extinct, are there purposeful reasons for this? Why not people? Though it might be said that it is not ours to judge (since we have very insufficient knowledge to do so–except for the love and connection we have in our hearts). Perhaps the latter is something carried by humanity to heal all wounds caused by the seeming divinities.

  24. Using Job from the Old testament as a example, is one I understand, but where lies something all together different spirits from Yahweh, these spirts causing such Mayhem and terror you speak of, will bring about a positive and self development out of this.
    Maybe the Sirians needed to go to Europe to develop in a way that they could NOT develop in there Homeland, Just as when Germany meet Roman, such great developments are meet with Struggle.
    Or perhaps the great war against all will only be worse with the fact that there are Ahrimanic MUSLIMS in Europe, As the Ahrimanic thinking muslim stream is alive in Britain and Europe, even here in Scotland we have a small amount of Rude Musims who have a Ahrimanic hate towards Christians . The backwards thinking of the negitive Ahriman Muslim man is to hold mankind to Materalism.
    We all know from RS ISLAM Is materialist and Ahrimanic in its force. so having so much Muslims about will help when the time comes when Ahriman is incarnated, falling in the time with the war against all agains all, which has to be Religous Driven, the War of all against must be Religious Driven, No hate passion will come from someone who is not fanatic like many Muslims. This wil push Christians to see there calling and fight for Christ.

  25. Joseph Leone, you write:
    “Though it might be said that it is not ours to judge (since we have very insufficient knowledge to do so–except for the love and connection we have in our hearts).”

    Please read the article properly before commenting. You assert that I have insufficient knowledge to raise the criticisms i make in the article. But you don’t bother to explain what you think is missing from my critique. Instead you babble on with irrelevant and weak-willed spiritualistic assertions.

    Readers here can see from your ignorant and unfounded assertions just what racism looks like in its Anthroposophical holier-than-thou garb. It’s pure cult-speak.

    This is how the Master Race talks, ladies and gentlemen. This is what it looks like when people unreflectively assemble an entire worldview out of a single mass of untested assertions. Rosheen, you have just demonstrated a point I made in the article — the only possible defense of your racist bigotry would be to show that it was true. In other words, if Muslims (which you stupidly conflate with race — you ignorant goose) really are “less evolved” in their souls than you, then you are not a racist. But unfortunately for you, modern genetics has completely and utterly demolished your special brand of willful, learned pig-ignorance.

    It’s pathetic. This is what happens when you base your worldview on nineteenth century science (which is where Steiner stole his ideas from).

    To any other Anthroposophists who blow by here, please communicate in English. Keep your racist cult speak for other clan members.

  26. Racism Joseph you speak of, in regards to my words and thoughts are not racist, as Being a Racist doesn’t exist, there is only Race Karma- all that studying of Steiners work and you small minded fool forgot the Karma Race Trait ? so you don’t look into my words but only feel from your own misunderstanding a pathetic defense comeback, physically you are weaker than me, and spiritually.
    You will never know what I have done for our community and more.
    you have never held the fiery sword and your tongue speaks only from a material mind. You have only wind, no fire or earth. and Using Job from the Old testament is not a good example for what is happening today as I said before there are very different forces at work from the days of Yahweh ! another empty statement from you.
    why Job, what does job correspond to todays events. If you want I shall tell you, nothing more than Lucifer’s Role in the old testament is very different from Today ! You cant speak about Job unless you mention Lucifer !!!!!!!!!!!-, your First mistake, the reader to your comments are lost with a empty statement. you have intended to branding me a Racist. But its my Karma I am born to Scottish Blood, as its a Africans Karma he or she is born into African blood and place. So spiritually I am more of a Self or I, even lesser is a native African, but there time will come. As will yours Jo.

  27. Because of your insistence on ranting in incoherent, racist cult-speak instead of standard English, I have placed you on comment moderation. (I will be traveling until Tuesday, so nothing moderated will be posted until then.)

    I have outlined very clearly in the article exactly why your ideas are both wrong and racist. I distinguished in the article between racist ideas and racist people, but you are a genuine racist. And proud of it. (And why is it that you white supremacists can never spell properly?)

    All you have done is simply repeat the dumbass racist assertions I criticized in the article, and which were demolished by 20th and 21st century science. If your ideas weren’t so repugnant they would be merely laughable. Scottish Blood? Really? You think your (capital letter) “Blood” gives you more “Self” than African (lower case) blood? Well let me be the first to congratulate you on your blood. Sorry, “Blood”. You must be very proud of it. You have obviously worked so hard to earn such wonderful “Blood” over many lifetimes that you didn’t have any time left for a basic education in spelling and grammar.

    I dealt with all of your nonsense quite thoroughly in the article. Go back and read it for heaven’s sake. Either address my criticisms or shut up and go back to the 18th century where you belong.

  28. you are distracted my droog, and it shapes your words and untruths

  29. You don’t really deserve this, but ok…. You could develop your consciousness by reading up on the Romantic movement, especially looking at Schelling’s Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature (where he develops ideas about nature as non-self), and then look at Blumenbach’s ideas on race (and research where he went wrong — see Gould’s Mismeasure of Man, for eg.).

    You would find out where Steiner really got his ideas from — not from “higher perception” but stolen from other thinkers. Other thinkers who made mistakes.

    Both Schelling and Blumenbach made real contributions to the development of science. Steiner didn’t. Instead, he and his ignorant followers have in fact detracted from both science and human self awareness in general.

  30. Yes Yakaru!! How can I even begin to thank you for writing what I have often felt. My daughter was in a Waldorf school for 3 years and I found myself shaking my head up and down in affirmation as I read your article, comments and rebuttals to the racists showing up here. Keep up the amazing work.

  31. Thanks! I appreciate your comment very much. Hope you have found a good school for daughter.

  32. I don’t really see your point. The only thing I ever read about races from Steiner was that Africans are more towards a childhood state of humanity, Asians more at a teenager state, Europeans an adult state, and Native Americans more like old people.

    I fail to see how this is racist. All ages have their own qualities and benefits, and it doesn’t mean that every individual is dependant on his or her race. It’s more of a general trend.

    And even if you would find this racist, for whatever reason, you might be surprised to find out that most Waldorf teachers do not actually read most of Steiner’s works. They deal primarily with his statements about education. Each teacher has his or her own opinion on racism, just like everyone of us.

    But simply look at the students in the school: you might find out that Waldorf schools are actually the most inclusive with children of different races, and no one gets discriminated.

  33. You clearly don’t know what racism is. This is not surprising if you are an Anthroposophist, because your world view is not suited to the 20th or the 21st century.

    To say that Africans are more childlike — even as a “general trend” — is indeed racist.

    Anthroposophists are not cultural leaders like they think they are. They are ignorant people who hold a backward and stupid ideology that was *already* out of date even when Steiner first quit the Theosophical Society (for racist reasons).

    As a former member of the Anthroposophical Society and former Waldorf teacher, I would not be surprised to learn that Waldorf teachers are not especially racist — that was the whole point of article!

    You people should not be smart enough to let go of your racist ideology.

  34. I feel you are entirely disregarding that these statemnts relate to the Atlantean epoch, and since then race plays no part in terms of super or inferior hierachies, in Steiner’s theories. You are cherry-picking to bring down teh cherry tree.——– “In regard to present humanity … it no longer makes sense to speak simply of the development of the races. In the true sense of the word this development of the races applies only to the Atlantean epoch [Tertiary and Quaternary time in Steiner’s view. Ed. comment.]… External physiognomies then differed so greatly that one could actually speak of different forms … In our own epoch the concept of race will gradually disappear along with all the differences that are relics of earlier times. Thus everything that exists today in connection with the [different] races are relics of the differentiation that took place in Atlantean [Tertiary and Quaternary] times. We can still speak of races but only in the sense that the real concept of races is losing its validity.”

  35. You are way out of context and focussing on pits of writings to prove a point, in the same methodology as fundamentalist to make their cases. “”It is impossible to understand a human being completely if one takes the concept of genus [like gender or race, Ed. comment] as the basis of one’s judgment. The tendency to judge according to the genus is at its most stubborn where we are concerned with differences of sex. Almost invariably man sees in woman, and woman in man, too much of the general character of the other sex and too little of what is individual.”

  36. link to offical an extensive Dutch investiagtion into racism in Steiner’s wroks – http://www.waldorfcritics.org/articles/a_refutation_of_the_allegation_of_racism_against_rudolf_steiner_with_rebuttal.html

  37. And you — in your string of comments — have disregarded the examples in the post of Anthroposophists today who still claim that the Aryan race, under the guidance of Archangel Michael, have more highly developed “ego” qualities than other races, and that archaic races will die out eventually.

    Did you not read that Darwin quote from the German wiki site?

    Did you not see the reference to the Marlo Morgan Aboriginal extinction case?

    Did you not read the comments in this thread of Anthroposophists?

    Have you not heard a multitude of similar arguments among Anthroposophists? If you ever do talk to Anthroposophists I hope you explain to them why they are wrong.

    And you write as if you think the Atlantean epoch really happened.

  38. Regardless of what modern Anthropos think,( I’m sure they are are open to misinterpreting as you or I) you are confusing terms. Aryan is not used in the modern sense but in reference to Atlnatean nad pre-Atlantean evolutions. It has nothing to do with todays concepts or the Nazi use fo the word. Aryan, in the sense Steiner usees is not white, it refers to a number of sub-“races” includign Indian. and European. If you focus on Steiner’s writings as a whole instead of the multitude of opinions you can ignore what all these “others” that you seem concerned with.
    J de Vries May 3, 2017 at 11:11
    If you don’t believe in the Atlantean epoch then why concern yourself with such a miguided charlatan in the first plac?. The writings are only understood as a whole. There is reasons you are facing repeated arguements. Because there is a consistency of thought which you are consistently disbeleiving, and thereby misunderstanding. If you don’t believe in the Atlantean epoch, then the whole thing of course would make no sense. A certain open-mindedness is required to entertain complex ideas.
    J de Vries May 3, 2017 at 11:16
    Also – i wasnt writing to you personally, but the article. On a personal note, You were a Steiner teacher, but honeslty did you read and comprehended his books?

  39. First, as site editor, I have placed your comments otherwise unedited, all in one comment window. Please think carefully before posting and don’t double post or triple post. I have also placed you on comment moderation. This means there will be a time delay before any future comment appears.
    I am aware of the difference between Aryan in the way Aryosophists used it, Nazis use and Steiner used it. That is why I was careful in the post to distinguish Anthroposophical racism from Nazi racism.

    The post deals with what I see as a failure of Anthroposophists to deal with the inevitably racist implications of believing in a spiritual hierarchy of races Völker. What you are doing here is adding another evasion technique to the ones I dealt with in the post–

    You wrote:
    “If you don’t believe in the Atlantean epoch then why concern yourself with such a miguided charlatan in the first plac?”

    Please read the post for some answers to that.

    “The writings are only understood as a whole….”

    This, I’m afraid is also a standard evasion tactic. By that standard no one, including you, is qualified to say anything at all. The bulk of Steiner’s writings, as you no doubt know, consist of about 6,000 lectures that he explicitly did not want to have transcribed or published (but eventually relented), and about 40 books. He wanted people to focus on the books, and to develop their own spiritual-perceptual faculties using the techniques outlined in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, and using Theosophy, Occult Science and Philosophy of Freedom, among others, as a general guide.

    If you want to live up to that standard, fine, but it also means you can’t speak in public about it until you have done so. Until then, it is up to people who have decided to believe that, for example, Australian Aborigines are the remnants of a fallen ancient Lemurian race (under whatever definition of race you choose) who play no further role in the evolution of consciousness, without sounding like a bunch of racist loons.

    “…instead of the multitude of opinions you can ignore what all these “others” that you seem concerned with.”</em>

    Firstly, in the comment guidelines, I explicitly ask people not to question my motives for writing. If you think I should ignore things I don’t like, ok, but how about you do it first — and ignore my post that you didn’t like.

    In the post, I spelled out very clearly why I am concerned with these others, and in fact gave quite a generous assessment of Steiner — clearly a highly decent and brilliant person. I can’t imagine that he treated anyone personally in a demeaning manner. But I don’t have much sympathy for people who sell me books written by Nazi sympathizers; who teach inevitably racist concepts to children; who promote nonsense; and who prefer hand waving, excuses and obfuscations to facing up to the racism embedded in their world view.

    As the title of this post indicates, Anthroposophists have not found a way to distance themselves from implicitly racist notions without discarding everything else they simply take on trust from Steiner along with it.

    I think there are things of value in Steiner’s teachings. He had some fine insights into human nature and child development. But sadly these are polluted and obfuscated by all this unnecessary esoteric baggage.

    Really, you don’t need to convince me that Steiner didn’t say anything racist. You need to get your fellow Anthroposophists to drop their implicitly and at times overtly racist notions.

  40. Hello Yakaru,

    Thank you for your extensive reply and explanation. I don’t have much contact anymore with fellow Anthropops. The few I know have exhibited any racially biased tedencies, but they are younger. I don’t doubt, like any movement, words are focussed on and re-interprted according to racial biases or non-biases and share your disaste for such narrow mindedness, and would seek to reason them out any hateful prejudice.

    I would reaffirm my suspicion that the types you discuss are interpreting Steiner’s race related remarks in terms of the present and recent past when he actually discussing root races and general trends pertaining to the Atlantean and pre-Atlantean times. You discuss this, yet write in the present tense, for example when dicsusing blacks, which is why your arguemnt reads to me to be completely out of context. I beleive there is no malice or ill-will in his notions (principle of harm – one of the prequisites of racism) You can call this evasion, but this is how I understand it when taken as a whole. It’s a lot to read, or even skim, but a most extensive apologist discussion i found is here …

    Click to access RR_Transforming_Criticisms.pdf

    You don’t believe in the Atlantean epoch, or I assume these vast histories, so by default, Steiner’s terms are rendered current and specific to today, so in a sense this discssuion is ove before it began, as fundamental beliefs are already divded by a chasm. Ie – I agree – within this definition his work is perhaps unavoidably racist.

    I think simply, one can only think through as extensively as you do, and arrive at the conclusion that the work is not racist, IF one also believes the truth of the work. And that the significance of race will ultimately diminish to meaninglessness. And that the racial “hierarchy” is in flux across the aeons etc.

    I believe as long as one identifies too strongly to one’s melatonin, a single life, a simple- streamed and linear evolution, one will be hindered to be unable to objectify race itself.

    Also ommision of a Nazis belief in the proven efficiency of crop methods (or their poisions) does not seem a great genesis for a case against. Every thing of use is abused when it can be.

    Which suggest to me the tree you barked up here, is not the tree you seek to chop down, though it looks just like the other tree from where you climbed, because disbelief prevented you from climbing to the top.

    I am not questioning your intentions here, but your methods of arriving.

    There – the ultimate deflection and evasion!

  41. sorry for multiple boxes – last line is in soft jest, not triumphant. For the record.

  42. Steiner’s ideas about race were unfounded and unsupported whether they referred purely to previous (imaginary) epochs or not.

    And he did indeed apply them directly to his own time: he left the Theosophical Society because he refused to believe that an Indian could be destined to be the next great world teacher.

    He applied his unfounded racial theories to the events of his time.

    Again, if you think Anthroposophists today are not following in his footsteps, and don’t see themselves as the advance guard of a higher spiritual culture, read the earlier comments in the thread.

  43. Greetings, Yakaru and J deVries. It’s nice to see extended back and forth discussions about Steiner’s race teachings that do not end with name calling.

    Since I have studied Steiner’s work extensively over the past 40 years in both German and English, I will be going to the source to amplify and extend many of the statements made by Mr. deVries, which show definitively that Steiner meant his racial teachings to be not only in the present day (his “present day” of 1923) but also far into the future — at least 15 centuries into the future, given his temporal scheme for the duration of the Post-Atlantean epochs (2160 years).

    But for this first comment, I would like to address the link that JdeV gave above. It is a booklet on Steiner apologetics by Robert Rose whose entire defense is aimed at deflecting the critical assault of one and only one critic of anthroposophy, and that of course is Peter Staudenmaier, Professor of Modern European History at Marquette University.

    Here is Peter’s initial reaction to the publication of Rose’s booklet.
    I will quote the opening paragraph and you can read the rest on the Waldorf Critics Yahoo Group page:

    dated: Dec 10, 2013

    “I am sorry to say the booklet is extraordinarily confused, and as uncomprehending as other anthroposophical musings on race. For a sense of the intellectual level of the discussion, here is how Rose formulates one of his basic principles:

    “Can a statement be classified as racist if the ‘race’ referred to no longer exists and that it anyway does not meet any classification of any race of the current age?” (11)

    By this logic, if I say “the Aryan race is vastly superior to all other races,” I have not made a racist statement, since the Aryan race does not exist. So much for anthroposophist analyses of racism.

    This sort of simple-mindedness is strewn throughout Rose’s text (unsurprisingly, he has completely misunderstood my work, but that is par for the course in anthroposophical circles). He offers breathtakingly naive claims: “a theory that is open to being falsified cannot be racist.” (95) Indeed he holds, believe it or not, that theories as such cannot possibly be racist (23). Rose even believes that racism “can accept no theory of soul distinct from and conditioning the body”! (97) In the fantasy land of anthroposophy, there simply is no such thing as spiritual racism.

    Rose provides this shocking revelation about Steiner’s use of the word ‘race’ (17): “Steiner did not use the word in the same sense as contemporary academia.” Gosh, you don’t say. He has evidently convinced himself that critics of anthroposophy, not to mention historians of anthroposophy, believe otherwise. He thinks we argue that Steiner’s racial teachings are “essentially identical to the context of Steiner’s day.” (17)

    I’m afraid this is nonsense. Steiner’s claims about race diverged considerably from the context of his day; he was an occultist, not some sort of mainstream author. His racial teachings were historically distinctive. That is what makes them worth studying.

  44. Thanks for checking in again, Tom.

    I appreciate the link and the information and the information about the Rose booklet (linked to by J de Vries). (And here’s a tip for Dr Rose: writing in purple doesn’t make your words more spiritual.)

    As Dr Staudenmaier points out, Rose doesn’t seem to know what racism is. This is a common trait in Anthroposophists — they are ignorant of the issue because the normal definition of racism itself is alien to Anthroposophy.

    As the Steiner fan @Daicu said above–
    “The only thing I ever read about races from Steiner was that Africans are more towards a childhood state of humanity, Asians more at a teenager state, Europeans an adult state, and Native Americans more like old people. I fail to see how this is racist.”

    — Exactly….

    I don’t see any way out of this for Anthroposophists. This racial hierarchy stuff is basic to the idea of the evolution of consciousness — the centerpiece of the whole ideology. Admitting Steiner was factually wrong about it has the unhappy consequence of admitting that Steiner’s “higher perceptive powers” were fallible, and once one starts to tug on that thread it’s impossible to stop everything unraveling.

    It’s a pity in a way, because, there were some interesting ideas in it. Even the stuff about Christ balancing the delusional Luciferic forces and the solidifying Ahrimanic forces has something quite profound if taken mythologically. It could also have generated some good art work if its members weren’t so uptight about everything.

    I could even imagine building a reasonable educational system out of some his ideas if you took out the hallucinatory esoteric stuff and appeals to authority.

  45. Reagrding the Anthropops discomfort in discussing Nazi connections – That they reject statements while defending suggest the cognitive dissoance they are experiencing and leads me to believe they are not dealing with their own latent racial prejudice, or intellectualy laziness.

    But If I discounted every idea based on the behaviour or opinions of its followers I would discard every philiospohy i hold dear, not to mention album and books of my favouruite artists. So I’’ll stay focussed her on the ideas themselves.

    Thanks all for the extensive research and discussion. It forced me into a corner where I must question these ideas and research and rethink part’s of Steiner’s work. Though also I question some of the methodooogies employed in the cirtique, it does seem almost impossible for someone to read his work and not find it racist. It seems only someone who believes what he writes would avoid the problem, because then there would be no ongoing dominant race.

    However reading this which is basically his lecture on “Colour and the Human Races” :


    I still struggle to find “harmful intent”, “ill will” or the idea of the white race being the overall dominant, which i consider necessary to racism according to the standard definition. It is not enough to simply say there differences between the races. In fact his lecture on Colour and Human Race seems overall balanced appraising various races as all having benefits and disadvantages.

    Could someone within context, I mean without extracting a piece from (as the fundamentailst Christiand do to validate their hatred of gay people etc) provide examples or links showing the supremacist aspect and the signs of “ill intent”.

    There is much criticism of his talk on race, but none on the diffences between American and Europeans which suggest to me a certain misunderstanding or hypocrisy in the critiques.

  46. Thanks for addressing the issue of Nazism — you’re the first Anthroposophist commenting here to do so. And thank you also for contributing your carefully considered and well articulated thoughts on this difficult subject! I appreciate it very much.

    Regarding harmful intent, I would distinguish between a racist person and a person with an ideology that is (arguably) racist.

    It is clear from the link you posted that Steiner believed he was simply stating facts. So I don’t think he was trying to incite racial hatred. But there are three problems:

    1. His arguments are wrong. Human physiology does not work the way he thinks it does. He supposes a vast array of physiological processes and parts of anatomy that do not exist. Skin color does not arise like that, and skin color does not affect psychological functioning like that.

    2. He ascribes psychological characteristics to whole peoples. In the culture he lived in, this was not so unusual. But even the biologist from whom Steiner got some of these ideas — Blumenbach — was careful not to generalize “racial” characteristics to the peoples he studied. Steiner, 100 years later, was less cautious.

    If it were really true that “the Mongolian mainly needs the middle brain, we Europeans use the frontal brain”, then it would not be racist to say so — it would simply be stating a fact. If a person *believed* it were true, than that person would not necessarily be a racist, but they *would* be holding a racist belief. (This is how I see many Anthroposophists.)

    If it were *partly true* (Mongolians tend to use the midbrain more), then it would only be racist to generalize that any Mongolian I meet uses his midbrain more than me.

    3. The hierarchy of races adds another layer of false ideas about race, by ranking them according to how “valuable” their shared characteristics are. Again, Steiner thinks he is saying facts, but the characteristics don’t exist, and the ranking of them is also pure fantasy.

    Ironically, was Darwin’s great achievement to destroy all such notions of evolutionary “progress” and hierarchy, and his initial insight has been confirmed by every finding in biology since.

    Nothing in Anthroposophy can deal with these facts of modern science; nor can any of Steiner’s ideas help Anthroposophists (who depend on his ideas for their worldview) come to terms with scientific progress. Steiner thought his ideas would be confirmed by modern science, or at least not conflict with them. But there is no point of contact between, modern science and his ideas on racial physiology.

    Nor have Steiner’s ideas been confirmed by other Anthroposophists who developed the same perceptive powers — which he also thought would happen. He didn’t want Anthroposophy to stay chained in the mode of the “Intellectual Soul”, but to move into “living thinking” and personal creative insight.

    (Anthropsophists would be far better off reading up on Schelling’s ideas about natural science and creative genius as a perceptual and conceptual tool, in my opinion.)

  47. I would like to chime in if I may. I must confess that in the brief time my family was exposed to Steiner’s pedagogy, we didn’t personally experience any kind of racism, but it is something by other families report worldwide.

    However, I think there definitely is evidence of a belief by Steiner that some races are better than others, and his famous drawing putting Aryans at the top of the evolutionary tree is clear testament to that.

    Another example is his derogatory statement about, as he terms it himself, “mulattos” and his conviction that if a pregnant European woman (i.e. white) were to read a “negro novel”, her offspring would then become one such “mulatto”. No coupling necessary .

    This not only shows severe racism on Steiner’s part, but also a complete lack of understanding of basic biology: “Merely through the spiritual effect of reading such negro novels a good number of children in Europe will be all grey, have mulatto hair and will look like mulattos!”

    This entire section has been conveniently excised from all official translations of his work but we’ve had it translated on our page on the subject: http://www.steinermentary.com/SM/Race.html

  48. I also don’t think I ever personally met a single Anthropsophist who I felt was racist or especially bigoted in any way. (The only one I’ve ever encountered is Rooshik/Rosheen in the thread above.)

    Children and students certainly don’t (usually) get taught overt Steiner philosophy as part of the curriculum, but part of the problem is that the implications of the racial theory are unavoidably racist, and they do influence the way history is taught.

    In Australia there were discussions about how to teach about Aborigines, who, of course, according to Steiner are a fallen Lemurian race who have already made their cultural contribution, whose spiritual time has passed, and who will inevitably die out because of the spiritual dialectic of history.

    Many Anthroposophists have tried seriously to distance themselves from this. But they have so far only managed to insist that they personally are not racist, and have never found a way to cut out the overt or the implicit ideological racism that is at the heart of the idea of the evolution of consciousness.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I do think one could make a decent schooling system out of many of Steiner’s ideas and insights, but only if one is prepared to discard everything that is supposedly derived from his delusions about being able to read the Akashik Record.

    But they refuse to do it, and for that reason, Anthroposophy will remain a stunted, uncreative, and spiritually backward literalist ideology based on appeals to authority.

  49. I think it’s likely that no anthroposophist is racist in the way most people would understand the term. After all, how can they be? They believe they reincarnate in a continuum through the races, so they can’t hate any race as they’ve either lived lives through them and/or will in the future.

    And yes, they don’t overtly teach anthroposophy to the children (although here too there are reports that they do), but by and large the indoctrination is a lot more subtle. Have you read this article by a former anthroposophist and teacher?


  50. Personally, and ironically Yakaru’s extensive and passionate article has cornered me and forced me question my Anthropop beliefs, as for the last painful, struggling days I wrest and wrangle with truth and understanding. It has renewed and revitalised my interest in Anthroposophy to unprecedented levels, and I will be reading more about colour, blood and race in general for more struggling weeks to come. So far, I feel Steiner’s writings “are” unavoidably racist. Unless I lose my belief, I will have to admit that I am a racist, albeit a benign one, with no ill intent to any fellow man racially. I do not treat other-coloured friends any differently, according to melatonin, but as individuals as I always have, and always will. But the fact remains, technically (by the 2nd part of the definition of racism) I am racist because of my beliefs. Perhaps further along evolution definitions will change, or it may be evolve that a certain kind of racism devoid of ill-intent comes to be acceptable. For now, it’s an odd label I can live with within myself because I emit no ill will upon anyone because of their whiteness or darkness. Bravo Yakaru for such a provocative and inspiring article.

  51. @J de Vries,
    –A very honest and generous comment! I can understand those feelings very well. I wrote about this with quite some sadness.

    I think the Anthroposophical Society has been a bit timid in accepting the possibility that Steiner may have made some errors. Even if the Akashik Record does exist, and can be read, as they claim, why not also admit the possibility that it might be read wrongly? Or variously? Or in a mode of thinking that doesn’t translate well into language? They could then distinguish between Steiner’s esoteric ideas and his more worldly insights into humanity, derived from normal perception.

    Above all, I think he’d be better seen as an artist rather than a scientist. (He really believed his ideas would be more or less confirmed by science, but they have not been. Quite the opposite, unfortunately.) But there is a lot of substance to his artistic representations of his ideas. Seeing it as a bit more mythological rather than literally true would throw more responsibility onto the interpreter, which would undermine the Society’s leadership role, which would cause practical problems for the movement; but it would also save people from having to believe and defend Steiner’s less useful ideas.

    Interesting article. One of the things that concerns me most about the Waldorf curriculum is that the science teaching is indeed based directly on Steiner’s Eighteenth Century version of science (and even a misunderstood version of that!). It inoculates the children against ever being able to understand modern science. It is anti-educational. It’s better than creationism, but not by much. That is the main reason why I would advise parents not to send their child to a Waldorf school. (Inoculate them against measles instead.)

  52. this is definitely a hate article, it’s inaccurate and the references that are cited are from other hate writings.
    1. Anthroposophy is not “based on race hierarchies”
    2. Weleda was raided and closed by 1935 by the Nazies
    And all the bullying that I read in the comments happening in those schools sounds more like neglect and do not represent the Waldorf curriculum.

  53. Well Natalia, I suggest you do a little more research. I’m not certain about Weleda, so I’ll leave that to others, but Anthroposophy and race, you can read about that here:


    And as for bullying, it’s the most reported problem by families in all Steiner schools worldwide. Not just bullying, but unchecked bullying, i.e., bullying teachers and staff are aware of but do nothing about.

    This is not simply neglect by the school and has everything to do with the Waldorf curriculum.

    A document from 2009 written by the Hague Circle clearly states a marked characteristic of Steiner schools is that “Pedagogical methods [will be] used in dealing with discipline”:


    Further a Steiner school which also happens to be the headquarters of that country’s Steiner-Waldorf federation published this in its newsletter:

    “a zero tolerance policy, in which an attempt is made to squash the bully completely, can be a breeding pound for other types of addictions, Payne said. Denied his or her usual behavior, a child may simply become compulsive about something else, like video games.”


    So yeah, playing video games is worse than a child bullying another. To me it looks like neglect, as you call it, is built into the Steiner pedagogy.

  54. And regarding hate, Natalia, maybe you should educate yourself about how Steiner communities treat parents and children who raise concerns there. Again, this is not an isolated incident, and is reported worldwide:


  55. Hello Natalia,

    Your claim that Weleda was raided and shut down by the Nazis in 1935 is completely untrue. In fact, it was quite the opposite situation given how much Weleda thrived and prospered during the entire Nazi era.

    I wonder if you might be conflating the banning of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany in 1935 with the banning of Weleda, so I wrote to Professor Peter Staudenmaier to ask him about it and here is his reply which I just received:


    Hi Tom,

    There was no such raid, or anything like it. I think your guess is probably correct that she got it mixed up with the 1935 closing of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany, which had no effect on Weleda, a Swiss-based company.

    If you’d like, you can recommend she take a look at Uwe Werner’s book
    Das Unternehmen Weleda 1921-1945
    [tr. The Weleda Company 1921-1945]
    (a genuinely terrible book, but the standard anthroposophist line on the matter), which says nothing whatsoever about anything remotely similar to this.

    The very opposite was the case: Weleda not only survived the Nazi years, it positively thrived.

    Weleda saw an enormous increase in sales volume and revenue during the Third Reich; the increase for the decade between 1933 and 1943 was 250%.

    It had the support of major Nazi figures, from Hess to Ohlendorf to Reichsärzteführer Conti. It had ongoing business relationships with the SS and with the Wehrmacht right up to the very end of the war.
    Weleda’s founding head gardener [Franz Lippert] oversaw the biodynamic plantation at Dachau.

    I think this is a good example of the extent of anthroposophical ignorance about the movement’s own history.



  56. Natalia,

    To call something a “hate article” is extremely cheap, and in this case it ignores
    a) the tone (where, for example, I say how I gladly recall my visit to the Goetheanum)
    b) the specific criticisms and arguments I raised, which you could have attempted to counter (if you were civil and honest enough); and
    c) the fact that the only thing that could be called “bullying” in the comments came from “Rosheen” the racist Scotsman proud of his “Scottish blood”.

    Your assertion that “Anthroposophy is not “based on race hierarchies”” was already dealt with and refuted by my article and you have not even attempted to argue against it.

    As Tom points out above, it was the schools that were shut down, as I covered in the article — maybe it’s this that you are conflating?

    Want to try again? If so, I welcome criticism and factual corrections, but please distinguish between your feelings and fact. Hateful writings are inevitably accompanied by demeaning language and gross distortions of facts. Please indicate where you think I display either of these.

    Thanks to @Steinermentary for the further damning evidence about bullying.

    And thank you Tom for that information, and for checking with Dr Staudenmaier.

  57. Yakaru, I see that even you are not fully informed about the closing of the Waldorf schools. For one thing, Himmler had nothing at all to do with Waldorf schools and their closing. I;m not sure where you got that idea from.

    Start by reading this summary posting by Peter Staudenmaier about Waldorf schools during the Nazi era. I will add more detailed links for you in later comments.


    There were nine Waldorf schools in Germany in 1933, with several thousands pupils. The only Waldorf schools that were actually closed by the Nazi authorities were the Stuttgart school in 1938 and the Dresden school in 1941. The remaining schools closed between 1938 and 1941 for a variety of reasons, in some cases including harassment and obstruction by some Nazi officials. A faction of the Nazis was flatly opposed to anthroposophy and Waldorf all along, and this faction eventually won the upper hand in mid-1941.

  58. Yakaru, here is a more detailed positing by Peter Staudenmaier about the closing down of the various anthroposophical endeavors during the Nazi time


    If there was a real “Nazi villain” who hated Steiner and anthroposophy and worked to stamp it out, that figure was SS Commandant Reinhard Heydrich — (whose boss was Himmler, of course, but Himmler was at worst ambivalent about anthropoposhy because he loved Bio-Dynamic agriculture so much.)

    Let me quote from Peter here because the only thing banned in 1935 was the Anthroposophical Society in Germany and that was done by Heydrich alone. Notice that no Waldorf school was closed until 1938, so that’s why Peter and I believe that Natalia was conflating the Society ban with her reputed Weleda ban in the year 1935.


    Waldorf representatives today sometimes claim that the Nazi state shut down the Waldorf schools in 1935. This is inaccurate. What did occur in November 1935 was an official order dissolving the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. The order did not close any of the Waldorf schools.

    The 1935 ban on the Anthroposophical Society was signed by SS chief Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most tenacious opponents of anthroposophy within the Nazi hierarchy (his boss Himmler only partly shared his views in that regard).

    Heydrich did not focus on anthroposophy alone; he saw Steiner’s movement as one of the dangerous pseudo-masonic organizations that in his view theatened the integrity of the Nazi state, along with rival tendencies such as the Ariosophists and the Ludendorffers.

    (Heydrich’s hostility, and his occasional orders banning various esoteric groups, hardly meant that anthroposophy or ariosophy or the Ludendorffers disappeared from Nazi Germany; as late as 1941, Heydrich was still urging an all-out struggle against ariosophy, for instance, at the very same time as the final crackdown on organized anthroposophy.)

    For years after 1935, and in some cases even after 1941, anthroposophist institutions continued to operate in Germany.

  59. Thank you for correcting my quite stupid error, Tom. I have added a note to the text with a brief correction, and added another footnote noting your comment and adding the first quote from Staudenmaier that you gave above.

    (I would have liked to be able to alter the text itself to include the correction and add some more details and links, but that would be unfair to those who have already commented. I left the text unaltered and placed the correction prominently at the end of the incorrect passage.)

  60. Yakaru, you wrote: And he did indeed apply them directly to his own time: he left the Theosophical Society because he refused to believe that an Indian could be destined to be the next great world teacher.
    This is the very first time I’ve ever read a claim like this. You’re referring to Krishnamurti who according to theosophical society was to by the incarnation of Christ-maitreya, a messias. Steiner broke with the theosophical society because the return of Christ in physical form is impossible according to his esoteric theachings, Christ will return in ethereal form, eventually visible for all humanity. Where did you get that it was because he was Indian??

  61. Something else, the general view in anthroposophy about the physical body is that is formed by everything around us. The body isn’t something that separated from the environment it’s an integral part of it. So if we take for example Africans and their higher account of melatonin in the body is purely out of a physical need. Modern science underlines this extensively, but I think I don’t have to tell you that. Another example: 95 percent of native Americans died centuries before even having met Europeans, because the first Europeans carried germs and virus with them that spread rapidly over the continent carried by birds and land based animals. These germs and viruses where a result of animal domestication in Eurasia, again purely a geographical coincidence! I could give you more examples of how geographical features have shaped differences in peoples all over the world but I think I’ve made my point. So talking about differences between races is really talking about human life developing in differing conditions. It’s the environment we live in that provides limitations, the same can be said about talents that flourish in different climates. If by experiment you where to place an isolated population of Europeans in Africa, after thousands of years they would start to look like and act Africans do now today, purely out of environmental reasons. Why can’t we acknowledge these differences without talking about race? And acknowledge these differences without valuing one above the other. If you were to carefully read Steiner’s work is that he never judges any of these differences he merely states them. He never says one is better than the other, if he did i’d like to see a citation form you.
    In anthroposophy everything being said about race is about life forces in different environments everything should be seen in this light. I do get that if you think that genetics is on top of everything that you’d see Steiner’s work as racist. If you start by accepting that genetics are just an expression of environmental influences only then you’ll see that it’s really a non discussion we’ve been having for the past hundred years. Not to say there haven’t been horrible racist ideologies in the past that need discussing.
    Last but not least I want to share a book with you that essentially supports the above and isn’t anthroposophic at all. It’s called Guns, Germs and Steel by Pulitzer prize winning author Jared diamond. It’s premise is that eurasian cultures became the dominant purely out of geographic reasons. Genetics are really just ‘three rings’ documenting these differences in the human body.

  62. Thank you for you thoughtful, coherent, and civil comments and questions, Florian.

    To the question of Krishnamurti, it was because he had been born in an eastern country that Steiner believed it was impossible for him to be carrying new spiritual impulses. This is a clear implication of his teachings on the evolution of consciousness. Indian civilization has already blossomed and fulfilled its task for the development of soul qualities. This is not merely my interpretation, but also that of several of those who were teaching courses in anthroposophy who were frequently told me that i was wasting my time when I got became interested in a modern Indian meditation teacher. Nothing new can come from the east.

    I am quite happy for you to challenge these people, but I don’t know where yo would find anything from Steiner where he directly contradicts such ideas.

    I will have to respond to your second comment later, as I am traveling at the moment. I will get back to it tonight….

  63. Continued…

    First, thanks for your thoughtful and coherent comment. So far those interested in anthroposophy are (in general) the best commenters I’ve ever had here on this blog. This reflects well on Steiner as well. I always found him to be seriously trying to understand reality.

    I also appreciate that you have presented your own ideas and criticized the contents of my article. Usually dissenting commenters here indulge in personal attacks on me and assume some bad motives on my part, so this kind of comment is always welcome.


    While you’ve presented a way that anthroposophical ideas can be used in combination with science, you write as if Steiner did not see the various races as inhabiting a spiritually decided hierarchy of more and less developed cultures.

    If Steiner is right in a factual sense, then his ideas are not racist. If souls really do reincarnate, and develop certain qualities through experiences and personal striving in various great cultural epochs, and if currently the most highly developed souls are are incarnating in Europe under the guidance of the Archangel Michael, illuminated by the light of Christ, visible in the etheric realm since the end of the Age of Kali Yuga, then it is simply a fact that white Europeans are more highly developed than souls who have incarnated in black skinned bodies. It is just a fact.

    But there is no evidence for any of that. Melatonin does not correlate with any intellectual or cultural characteristics of the kind that Steiner spoke of.

    I am happy to see anthroposophists not using such unfounded ideas, but would prefer them to clearly distance themselves from them rather than merely ignore them, or deny that they exist. Steiner really did say that blacks are like pubescent youths, and that white women should read books by blacks when they are pregnant otherwise they’ll get mulatto children. It is possible to get distance oneself from such idiotic ideas. No need to deem them racist — just admitting he was wrong would do.

    But that carries with it the problem that this wrong and racist notion of a spiritual hierarchy of races is a central pillar of anthroposophy. It underlies the whole notion of the evolution of consciousness. Anthroposophists need to decide how to deal with this, and clear it up internally, rather than denying it to outsiders and attacking modern science with their Creationist notions about Darwin (that I quoted in the article). Some of the racists have shown up here too in the comments, eg., here


    or more spectacularly in the string of comments from “Rosheen”.

    One might not guess it from my article, but I actually think Steiner still has a lot to offer, especially when the esoteric assertions are treated as mythology rather than fact. He was a brilliant and profoundly insightful fellow, with a degree of compassion borne of insight into the human condition that is rare in our species (and rarer still among spiritual teachers!).

    Treat him as an artist rather than a scientist spouting facts, and it becomes easier to drop the useless stuff and admit that mistakes were made. And other groups in Germany have admitted complicity with the Nazis and maintained some respect. Denying it, as the Anthroposophical movement is still doing places them on the lowest level possible of any spiritual and ethical hierarchy. Until they admit it, they can jump in the lake as far as I’m concerned. And take their racist teachings with them. It could be different….

  64. Hi Yakaru,

    I do agree with you that its complete nonesense. The melatonin part at least. I have searched the internet for information about this and I can’t find any credible source where Steiner would have said this. I’ve read one time though he has spoken about the amount of melatonine a body makes in relation to intelligence. If you think about it. Melatonine is a hormone made under influence of the sun, and a hormone having an effect on brain function doesn’t seem far fetched I guess. That would mean an African moving to northern Europe changing his interior hormone levels would see change in brain function. And this would work exactly the other way around! I know I am much more connected to nature and my senses and spent less time thinking in the summers here in europe. Everything is changing though because the whole world is starting to live in human controlled environments like cities and climate controlled buildings.
    I found something else in relation to this conversation. I’m starting to realise more and more Anthroposophy is dying because of dogma and conservatism. If you look up for instance the bullshit former member of the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, Sergei O. Prokofieff has written about the internet. I’m ashamed and I want to fight against it.

    If you do find a credible source than take this in mind please.
    Namely that Anthroposophists where persecuted by the Nazis. The school I went to was closed down and I know people whose parents and grandparents where even arrested or deported because of it. There’s also numerous stories about the early days of the Nazis where they would disturb meeting in their brown shirts. Furthermore almost all scientist in that age where indulging themselves in scientific nonsense like racial theories, it was a zeitgeist then. It’s really remarkable how the world of today just cherry picks Anthroposophy as a racist movement while almost everybody was connected with those ideas in that time.
    Personally I think it was the other way around. The Nazis took bits and parts out esoteric Christianity that would fit their own racist needs. They took the term Ubermensch from Nietsche for instance and made it into something materialistic. Nietsche never intended to create a term connected to racial types or any kind of genetics. It was purely meant spiritual, he even wrote somewhere he would’ve every antisemite shot. That’s a bit strong ofcourse, but illustrates the tragedy of the misinterpretation of his work, back then and now.

    This is what I found in Steiners lectures about the Apocalypse of st. John:

    “Tolstoi is a premature flower of such a civilization, one that came far too soon to be frilly developed. Hence he has all the faults of an untimely birth. His grotesque und unfounded presentations of many Western European things, all that he brings forward in the way of foolish judgment, show that great personalities have the faults of their virtues and that great cleverness has the folly of its wisdom.

    This is only mentioned as a symptom of the future age when the spirituality of the East will unite with the intellectualism of the West. From this union will proceed the age of Philadelphia. All those will participate in this marriage who take into themselves the impulse of Christ Jesus and they will form the great brotherhood which will survive the great War, which will experience enmity and persecution, but will provide the foundation for the good race. After this great War has brought out the animal nature in those who have remained in the old forms, the good race will arise, and this race will carry over into the future that which is to be the spiritually elevated culture of that future epoch.”

    Please take in mind that the word race hete must understood in the sense of Homo erectus Homo sapiens etc…
    It really is a remarkable document to read if you’ve got the time and energy to read it. We’re now living in a time where you can already see clearly a separation between people who chose the path of love and the people who chose the path of unrelentless materialism. A good example of the last words I think are the transhumanists striving for mechanical interventions in the human body with immortality as the highest goal.

    All best,

    Florian Zirkzee

  65. Thank you, Yakaru, for your great post.
    I am working in a Steiner-philosophy based childcare centre. Before I started working here, I have read some articles about Te Ra school in NZ and also about bullying at some Steiner schools in the US. I had slight hesitation but still thought it was worth a try so started working anyway. As far as the early childhood education, Steiner philosophy is great because it puts great emphasis on children’s imagination, not on cognitive skills.
    But I am still really doubtful about anthroposophy just because, as you stated so clearly here, it is based on racism. Maybe not entirely and solely on racism, but his crazy belief in this fantastical racial hierarchy must be criticised, denied and crashed far more thoroughly by the modern anthroposophists. They should treat this craziness as a warning sign of how easily racism can penetrate someone who was supposed to be very moral, spiritual, intelligent and wise.
    Thank you again and I am looking forward to reading more from you. Cheers, glenys

  66. @Florian

    Nice to hear from you again Florian — thanks for ideas and clarifications. Again, you confirm my impression that there are many Anthroposophists who take these issues seriously and do use Steiner’s ideas as a way of engaging with reality.
    I can gree with much of what you write, and the points of disagreement, which I also outline below are the kind of thing I might say in a friendly chat over a coffee, if I was asked what I thought.
    In the article I also cited Anthroposophists who exposed and denounced racism, (in relation the Marlo Morgan/Australian Aborigine story).

    I read two books by Prokofieff — something about Two Streams into the New Epoch (or something), about the ‘Platonic’ and ‘Aristotelian’ sources of Anthroposophy throughout history (based on Steiner’s beliefs about his previous incarnations) and another, the title of which I’ve forgotten, but was just as thick. I suppose he was complaining about the internet being a tool of Ahriman? I always used to talk about how the ‘Ahrimanic’ printing press destroyed the story-telling tradition in Europe, and remind Anthroposophists about Steiner saying he didn’t want his lectures published — hoping for those present to use his words as a starting point for their own creative work, rather than accepting his word as an authority. (Ironically the same thing that happened to Aristotle!)
    Thanks for Steiner’s words on St John. In a way, that quote demonstrates what I like, and also what I disagree with about Steiner. The ideas show a profound insight (I think) into Eastern spiritual ideas, and that he had a positive and detailed vision for humanity…. But that is also obvious, given that he adopted a vast amount of Hindu philosophy that had been accepted and dry-cleaned by Thosophy. He added the idea of evolution of a cultural hierarchy to Theosophical teachings.
    I do think that there are valuable ideas and insights to be found in the passage you quote. But again, while Steiner’s observations about Tolstoy might be profound and based on genuine insights Tolstoy and Russian culture, Steiner embeds those insights into all his speculative assumptions about the evolution of consciousness and cultural progress.
    Why assume that Christ is an active force in history? Why assume that history has a divinely ordained direction? Why assume that certain souls are granted a spiritual task to fulfill?
    I understand how compelling that all seems if you accept those assumptions and interpret everything through that lens, but I reject the assumptions. I think his real insights into human nature were gained through the senses, empathy and social intuition, rather than reading the (non-existent) Akashic Record, as he claims.

    You asked about sources for Steiner talking about dark skinned races. I will point out this article which I linked to in the blogpost —
    Waage is defending Steiner, but refers to some statements that he says “smell more like beer joints than spiritual insight”. He is referring to 16 statments from Steiner about race, as measured against current anti-discrimination laws in the Netherlands. He continues:
    “Although it only concerns an infinitesimal portion of his works, and although Steiner cannot be called a racist, such utterances about people with a different complexion cannot possibly be synchronized with the intention of possessing the degree of spirituality and insight that Steiner is doing.”
    As I said in the article, I don’t think Steiner was by temperament a racist, nor are *most* Anthroposophists. But the idea of a hierarchy of races arranged hierarchically in cultural epochs, even in the most liberal interpretation, has consequences that Anthroposophists need to face up to. Either dump them or establish that they are objectively plausible.
    You try to do the latter, but I must say you oversimplify it by trying to trace all effects of climate upon culture back to the action of melatonin on the brain. the effects are too complex for that single cause. And the idea of melatonin affecting brian funciton is not supported by science, as far as I can see.

    I want to confirm again, that I did say in the article that Anthroposophists were indeed persecuted by the Nazis, and that schools were closed. I didn’t go into detail, but as I understand it, two schools — Dresden and Stuttgart if I remember correctly — were directly closed and life was just made so diffiuclt for others that thhey eventually had no other option but to close themselves.
    I have also read plenty of unfair criticism of Anthroposophy, and have tried to avoid it in the article.
    In fact on my blog in general it is Steiner’s critieria for criticicizing spiriitual ideas that I apply to my own writing. He said criticism of Anthroposophy would fall into two categories: either based on misunderstanding or be mere riducule. I consciously try to guard against both.
    (I have a category called ‘Pointing and Laughing’ which deliberately acknowledges when I break this rule.)

  67. @glenys,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Yes — there is a great deal of value, especially in Steiner’s approach to early childhood. There are a great many ideas which would be even better if stripped of their esoteric claims and cast into more mythological or “as if” terms. (The idea of the child having a soul that is incarnating does capture the pure magic and other-worldliness of childhood in a way that no other approach does, but it also opens the door to stupid and dangerous ideas about autism being caused by failure to incarnate fully, etc.)

    The bullying story seems to be a very common problem. I suspect that it’s authoritarianism that makes it so hard for Anthroposophists to deal with. The authoritarian aspects of Anthroposophy — that ‘might is right’, (which is also mixed up with their racist view of history), and the way teachers react especially badly to having their authority questioned seems to be a common element in all the stories I hear. (Comments in the thread above tell the same story.)

    And the refusal of many to deal with the racist aspects shows the same arrogance and authoritarianism. As I say in the article, many Anthroposophists consider themselves to be the top of the spiritual heap in this epoch. to question Anthroposophy is to undermine their status….

  68. Hi Yakaru,

    I’m going try and keep it short this time. I did a search for the report you’re talking about, I can’t find that particular quote anywhere on the internet except for the link you send me, that article referenced that particular quote to another page on the same website. Doesn’t seem very credible to me sorry. I’m dutch myself and happen to live a few miles from the Dutch Anthroposophical library, I can go there and look for you to see the original report. On the internet that quote is nowhere to be found except for a website that refers to itself on the most discriminating part of the whole article. I was actually quite happy you brought me on to this report, the amount of discriminatory quotes in his is staggeringly low for a thinker in that age. It shows all the more he was far ahead of his time.

    Furthermore about melatonine. The hormone involved in skin pigmentation is called melanin not melatonine! Melatonine is the hormone your body makes under influence of the sun. So yes if you live around the equator your body makes more melatonine. Do one search on google and you’ll find that it’s one of the most interesting hormones for brain researchers! One that’s quite poorly understood and needs a lot of research.

    Why assume that Christ is an active force in history?
    This might be something to consider: He was the first one this planet being able to teach real unconditional love. Where Buddha’s teaching emphasises on suffering and compassion. You see as a human you first need to able to understand suffering and compassion before you can fully feel to force that is love. The same thing happened in our collective history, Buddha prepared to way for Christ’s teachings. Just as other great teachers prepared the way for Buddha. If you really take a careful look inside yourself you’ll see your own development mirrored in world history.

    Why assume that history has a divinely ordained direction?
    That’s absolutely not a given! There’s good chance we’re done as species in the not so distant future if we keep up this pace. It’s up to us to make it take a divine direction, that’s why Anthroposophy exists. It exists solely to actively and gently push us in that divine direction. (I really want to say something personal to you here, but that’s never the way to go according to my principles).

    Why assume that certain souls are granted a spiritual task to fulfill?
    That’s not an assumption, you can’t deny there have been numerous spiritual souls that have helped our species in our development. No one is granted this, it just is. Where do you get this from may I ask you?

    Who do you think grants this?
    If I may end this comment on a personal note, I’m currently reading The gospel of Thomas, it is a personal account of the Apostel Thomas only discovered in 1974. So it’s very close to the source and hasn’t been polluted by numerous other writers. Thomas has been confirmed as an actual historical person who lived in India for two decades. Its a very short text yet very powerful.

  69. Sorry for not providing clearer quotes earlier. I have fished out a few and will put them below. I wrote the article from my memory of what I learned both from Steiner and other Anthroposophists a couple of decades ago. I restricted myself to the passages that Staudenmaier quoted in his article, which accorded fully with my understanding, namely that Steiner taught that races are spiritually distinct and are in various stages of “advancement” or evolution. This idea is both wrong and inherently racist, because it leads to categorizing whole peoples according to characteristics that have no bearing on human qualities.

    Below are some quotations from Staudenmaier’s unpublished thesis with full reference details. Again, this all accords with what I learned from Steiner’s lectures and writings. (I gave away all my Steiner books when I left Australia, so I can’t refer to them, and I don’t feel like wading through the online German archives.)

    Here is Steiner in 1922, Über Gesundheit and Krankheit, p. 189 (Dornach 1994)

    Recently I went into a bookstore in Basel and found an example of the latest publishing agenda: a Negro novel, just as the Negroes in general are entering into European civilization step by step! Everywhere Negro dances are being performed, Negro dances are being hopped. But we even have this Negro novel already. It is utterly boring, dreadfully boring, but people devour it. I am personally convinced that if we get more Negro novels, and give these Negro novels to pregnant women to read during the first phase of pregnancy, when as you know they can sometimes develop such cravings, if we give these Negro novels to pregnant women to read, then it won’t even be necessary for Negroes to come to Europe in order for mulattoes to appear. Simply through the spiritual effects of reading Negro novels, a multitude of children will be born in Europe that are completely gray, that have mulatto hair, that look like mulattoes!

    And in 1907 affirming the degeneracy of some races, in Occult Significance of the Blood, p. 13-14

    How can a Negro or an utterly barbaric savage become civilised? And in what way ought we to deal with them? And here we have to consider not only the feelings due to a vague morality, but we are also confronted by great, serious, and vital problems of existence itself. Those who are not aware of the conditions governing a people — whether it be on the up- or down-grade of its evolution, and whether the one or the other is a matter conditioned by its blood —such people as these will, indeed, be unlikely to hit on the right mode of introducing civilisation to an alien race.

    In Occult History, p. 33, Steiner affirms that non-European races are less developed:

    younger souls – the majority at any rate – incarnate in the coloured races, so that it is the coloured races, especially the Negro race, which mainly brings younger souls to incarnation.

    And I vividly recall reading this in a study group: in Christianity as Mystical Fact, p. 52, Steiner says

    Does a Goethe have the same antecedents as any Hottentot? The antecedents of an ape are as unlike those of a fish as are the antecedents of Goethe’s mind unlike those of a savage. The spiritual ancestry of Goethe’s soul is a different one from that of the savage soul.

    That last one is especially damning, and was one of the things that made leave the Anthroposophical Society. I was shocked to hear the guy who was running the study group defend this stupid idea.

    It is one thing to speculate about the possibility that we all have different spiritual heritages etc., but anyone who claims that certain people are inherently less developed than others purely because of their skin color/geography they were born in, should not be surprised when they are called a racist.

    Anthroposophists must reject such claims, (as you do), instead of defending, ignoring or denying them. There are still plenty of other good ideas from Steiner to draw on if these are tossed out.

    I suspect the refusal of many Anthroposophists to do this is because they don’t want to undermine Steiner’s authority and admit he could be wrong. And rejecting the racial hierarchy also undermines the special cultural/spiritual status that Anthroposophists grant themselves.

    And as I say in the post, this wrong and racist hierarchy of Völker is also central to the idea of the evolution of consciousness — throw that out and a central pillar of Anthroposophy falls.

    I hope those quotations are the kind of thing you’re looking for. If not, let me know and I will search out the ones I remember. I am sure I remember a hair-raising from The Study of Man, from 1924 too, but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.

    Also, regarding Christ vs Buddha — I must disagree there too. I find The Dhammapada far superior to anything in the teachings of Jesus.

    I did, however find Steiner’s version of Christianity captured far more of human nature than many other spiritual systems. His statue of The Christ, on display in Dornach, is simply mind-blowing….

  70. Thank you for putting in the quotes Yakaru. I found the original in German thanks to your accurate quoting. It’s really not my style to start talking on the personal front, but you’re forcing me a little bit here to forsake my own principles. (principles shouldn’t be fully unbreakable I think).
    I’m going to react first on the last part of your comment. I think you didn’t fully understood what I was saying there. I would never dare call Buddha or Christ superior over the other. I know a lot of Buddhists who disagree with you if you really think that. Buddhist in the west as well as in the east consider the words of Christ an addition to the teachings of Buddha. To be honest really it’s not something for us to have an opinion about, to be more precise, to ADD a value to it. If you carefully read my words I’m not adding a personal value to it! Christ came 600 years after Buddha, that’s just a fact I’m sorry, I’m quite sure Buddha could have taught individual love the same as Christ but he didn’t because he was born in different time and place, furthermore Buddha taught something to was already quite present in man, it just needed one last big push. Christ is teaching us something to have to overcome collectively, because it’s something that we do not not fully carry in ourselves already. Maybe that’s the reason why you think Buddha’s teaching to be superior. I do not fully understand what Christ is teaching, but I try with all my power to do so.That’s why I do not talk in words like this versus that and would never dare to start comparing both of these great men, or (certain types of) Buddhism vs Esoteric Christianity. I would never dare to judge to one better than the other, because you’re disregarding any context in relation to it. I get that you would personally feel the one superior to the other, but that’s something entirely different than forming an opinion or judgement about the same thing.
    If that is so that you feel to one to superior, please speak in that manner. It’s exactly the same ignorance you are fighting against in some parts of conservative Anthroposophy! Only at the point that your able to honestly judge yourself you’ll be able judge be able to really judge something outside of yourself. There’s not a lot of people in this world I think that have that quality, and I wouldn’t count myself among them to be clear!
    Thanks again for putting in those accurate quotes. I can see why you would say those are problematic. The mulatto one is far the most problematic.
    If I may take the last example about spiritual ancestors. I don’t know exactly what your personal conception of spirit is. Most people of today think spirituality is something only of religion or something that is very personal. To put it very bluntly it’s not. The invention of the car or any modern technology and the words of a book or idea of a great modern Buddhist teacher like Tich Nath Ahn, all come from the same source, all use the same energy! However it’s up to us to decide whether to use this energy for good or for bad. Now back to your ancestor quote, I think it must be understood in this way: He talks here about real genetic ancestors. It’s just a simple fact that a scholarly personsgenetic ancestors have used this energy in a different way for generations, than a person born in a hunter gatherers society. Steiner not saying the one is better than the other he’s just saying it’s different! And I’m sorry but that’s just something you can’t deny. Someone born in hunter gatherer society undoubtedly uses the same energy/source as a professor, just for different purposes, purposes that are purely circumstantial. I think we as western society can learn a lot from how certain hunter/gatherer tribes relate to nature and their environment in a spiritual way. Maybe it’s must even. I think that quote reflects that. It’s quite unhappy that he uses the word ape immediately after the word Hottentot, I do hope you see that that’s in reference to a fish, and that it must be understood as metaphor, and again he’s not saying that an ape is better than a fish. I can imagine though some people in Anthroposophy would defend these words in a literal way or apply a certain degree of personal value or judgement to it and I can imagine you getting upset about it, because of that.
    One last thing, Steiner stopped using the word race after the word was transformed into something horrible. I think you should see this word in a more cultural context. And recent scientific developments show also that there isn’t such a thing as race anyway, genetically speaking it doesn’t exist in our species. So it’s not right keep applying that word in that sense to Steiner’s work. I’m quite curious now what gave you chills in Study of Man. It’s quite high on my list of works to read.
    And last but not least I’m very happy to read you are still able to see the love and light in some of Steiners work :).

  71. ….Thanks again for your comments, Florian. I will write a response tomorrow…..

  72. Hi Florian, sorry for not getting back to this sooner.

    As I already mentioned, I wouldn’t object at all if yours was the standard interpretation of Anthroposophy.

    (I wasn’t intending to write about the implicit racism either — I’ve been writing this blog for nearly 10 years. It was just the complicity with the Nazis and their denials and cover up that made me say something.)

    I also think Anthroposophists could be a bit bolder — as you are — in rejecting or criticizing certain notions from Steiner. You may have noticed that in the article I quoted Dutch Anthroposophists speaking out about racism in their ranks. (In the section about Marlo Morgan and Australian Aborigines.)

    I’ve always been interested in the question of how people construct a worldview — a kind of working model of the world that we carry around like a lens to look through and comprehend the world and our inner experiences, feelings and emotions etc. I am probably more concerned with squaring mine with what I understand of science than most Anthroposophists, though my science is not good, and there is a cost involved in scrapping ideas that seem to work, simply because they don’t comport with some aspects of science.

    I generally side with scientists about which ideas should be dumped, but I do think it is easy for scientists to ignore the inner life somewhat. There is probably no such thing as free will, but it is not easy to integrate such an idea into one’s inner life without going mad or becoming incapable of making any decisions at all without being paralysed by doubt.

    I think scientists tend to think that scientific ideas can simply be poured into people and they automatically get transformed into a psychologically healthy worldview, supplanting the old superstitions etc. But constructing a worldview is something people have to do actively and have to explore ideas, check them out and see what happens when the ideas come into contact with the real world.

    I want people to be able to explore ideas, including spiritual ideas, without being exploited or manipulated or bankrupted; and also without having their critical thinking skills deactivated.

    Steiner himself said (I’ve forgotten where, maybe in his Autobio) that spiritual science, if done properly, should complement material science; and if there is a contradiction, one of them must be wrong.

    ….I will stop babbling now, but might add a few thoughts more directly related to your comment in the next day or two….

  73. Please, Yakaru, I noticed that you repeatedly mention high undisclosed merits of Waldorf pedagogy. Would you clarify which are these merits and whether they are original by Steiner or simply inspired by Montessori or other pedagogist of that period? I read, in fact, that the Theosofical society had adopted Montessori pedagogy, well before Waldorf school started and the two methods seem to have much in common.

  74. From what I know of Montessori, and unlike Waldorf, they don’t believe in demons, angels, reincarnation, possessions, higher realms, have issues with electricity and vaccination, etc

  75. Hi Fulvia,

    thanks for asking, and my apologies for not being clear.

    I hadn’t heard that the Theosophical Society had adopted the Montessori system, but if so, Steiner had already separated from them. Also, during my Waldorf training (which was only partial) I did hear that the Montessori approach is quite different to Waldorf education.

    What I liked about the Waldorf method is a large topic, and really needs a separate blog post. I will write it in the next day or two.

    In short, I found many valuable ideas for early childhood education — still far in advance from what I have seen of the German education system even today. They emphasize imaginative play and the importance of teachers trying to understand how a child experiences the world, in a manner which is also missing from many other educational systems.

    I find it gets progressively less good in the later classes, especially as the science curriculum becomes more guided by their spiritual ideology, like basing things on the Aristotelian four elements, or demonstrating supposed effects of “etheric” forces in plants and animals. And of course the racism that is implicit in their approach to teaching cultural history.

    I will link here to the blogpost I will write in the next day or two…

  76. Thanks for your reply and I look forward to your post. Annia Besant ordered that all theosophical schools adopted the Montessori method and in 1917 invited Maria Montessori in India. If Steiner took some guidance from the books of Montessori, certainly he did not like to mention it exactly because theosophists had established such a strong relationship with it and he needed to stress his cultural autonomy from them. I know little about Steiner and Montessori pedagogies, but I see connections, like the emphasis on practical activities and the modeling of child development in 6-years cycles. Best Regards Fulvia

  77. Interesting — I confess I’d never heard of that connection between Montessori and Theosophy. I’d only ever heard Waldorf teachers saying that Waldorf education is very different. There is certainly *some* reason why they were saying that. I don’t know enough about the Montessori system to be able to recognize any similarities. Maybe another reader would like to weigh in?

  78. I saw this connection in a biography of Montessori by Paola Giovetti. It quotes sources published by the theosophical headquarters near Madras: a paper of their journal in 1970 and a book in 1985 for the centenary of Montessori.

  79. re – Krishmaurti – Steiner had specific ideas about who what and how. If he believed a certain couldn’t carry on certain impulses at a certain time, this is nothing unsual. His writings are full of discussion of how only certain races or streams could undergo certain changes or carry certain knowledge. The problem seems to be that Krishnamurt is Indian/Eastern and Steiner is Cauasian/Western and that it can easily be inferred that he has bias or motivations due to hos own pigmentation/culture. To entertain this idea trivialises his entire body of work and the language he uses continually. If we cherry pick problems out of massive bodies of work, we are using the same methodoology that fundamentalist Christians use to justifiy hatred of gay people or the destiny of the Jews, or sceptics attributed Anti-semitism, racism and nazism to Nietzsche or Jung.

    For the most part I belive Steiner’s iuse of the word race – is referring generally to a general body of people on a continent with certain pigment over aeons and millenia. Ideas of instrinsic genetic differnces are not unusal (ironcially) in Germany where I live, and are held seriously by people you would not describe as racist.

    The idea is that hierachise are not established, they rotate through aeons, just as races and cultures rise and fall in influence or knowledge. The problem seems to be that the current race that is said to hold the grater part of occult knowledge (to pass to the next race) – is causasian/Western. I ask if Steiner was black would this discussion be occuring? Or if he said the current race with the greater part of knowledge and destined for longevity is the Aborignals ? Why is the belief that a race is in its last throes a disparagin view ? Racial guilt and white self -loathing play a great part in discrupting our objecitviity, and unless we can view this from above without racial bias we are not in a good position.
    “younger souls – the majority at any rate – incarnate in the coloured races, so that it is the coloured races, especially the Negro race, which mainly brings younger souls to incarnation.”

    ” The spiritual ancestry of Goethe’s soul is a different one from that of the savage soul ”

    There is no easy way around these statements. To hold a belief in these renders one “technically” by todays defintions to be a racist. Only a clairvoyant or science can prove or disprove (for themseves) the claims of an alleged clairvoyant.

    Anthroposophists have to arrive at decisions concernign their beliefs.

    Technically I and many Anthropsophists (who own and stand by their beliefs) are racists. And only the truth of Anthropsophy at the far end of millenia would redeem it to not be so. I don’t feel like a racist. But I will never know in this lifetime.

  80. Correction :
    A clairvoyant ( for themselves ), a scientist (for all)

  81. I don’t think I’ve unfairly “cherry picked” ideas from Steiner’s work. Rather I emphasized repeatedly that if Anthroposophists could bring themselves to discard his racist and factually wrong ideas, there would still be plenty there to work with. But as I say, discarding it means dropping a central idea, which in turn means admitting a central idea is wrong — which in turn means casting doubt on Steiner’s claim of “higher” perceptive abilities.

    This too leads one to question how much of his other “teachings” — Atlantis, Lemuria, etheric and astral bodies, reincarnation and all the technical difficulties involved in “incarnating” and all the medicine etc — how much of that is factually wrong as well.

    If you tug on one of those threads and unravel a little of it, it does have a tendency to unravel the rest of it as well. Only emotional attachment makes one stop unraveling it.

    I would suggest distinguishing between Steiner’s practical insights into human nature, which he won through life experience and observing others, and discarding all the esoteric guff that he thinks he read from the Akashik Record — an idea he stole from the Theosophists, who stole it from Hinduism, and which doesn’t exist. Just like the etheric and astral bodies don’t exist. Etc.

    And as a movement, of course, Anthropsophists should stop denying and concealing their complicity with the Nazis. That would at least make the racist ideas that people don’t want to admit are wrong and let go of, look a little less like normal racists.

    I appreciate your honesty, and preparedness to deal with these problems and express your ideas clearly, but I can’t say anything else than what I said above.

  82. From what Ive read in this thread they seem as complicit with Nazis as any German. That they comprised those who opposed, those who gave in or those who worked with enthusastically. ie. They shouldn’t be singled out for special treatment more so than anyone else. Unless the motive for focussing on them is because they are somehow higher moral beings who should know better, which seems contradictory to the argument.

    The way I see it, if it is true, that races take turns to carrry the greater part of knowledge and in the past had varius qualities then the idea is moot as it is about souls incarnating. The bodies of melatonin are simply ephemeral vessels. Surely it can only be racist if only one race has the knowledge all the time.

    If it is not, then the ideas are ridiculous and racist, ill intent or no.

    So surely the racism that is being ascribed is simply dependent on the truth or falsehood of the matter. You are arguing a priori based on the idea that Steiner is fundamentally wrong about his ideas on reincarnation.

    There is no decisiveness science on the workings of melatonin, or the ideas of genetic memorry and inherited attributes within races, that has been presented so a lot of this looks like speculation.

    So really the whole issue here, is simply that you don’t believe in the ideas, and Anthropsophists do. You can say this is good, this bad etc. But what you are criticising is because you only believe in parts. And without certain aspects holding true, like you said, it all falls apart.

    Like many Anthroposophists, I feel within the sea of eternity, the tides of ambivalence will come to calm.

  83. As I say in the post, I am not singling out Anthroposophists for condemnation simply because of the complicity of some of them with the Nazis. Rather, I condemn them for denying it and covering it up. Many other groups in German society have confronted their past, admitted what happened, reflected on how it happened among their own group members, and denounced it.

    Anthroposophy is one group that has not only failed to do that, but worse, accuses others — like Darwin, evolutionary biologists and anyone who accepts evolution, of somehow being complicit themselves. This is especially stupid of them, as I point out in the article, because Darwin was no racist (unlike Steiner) and evolutionary theory does not lead to or support eugenics or racism, as so many Anthroposophists wrongly claim.

    Anthroposophists would do better to reflect on the similarities between Aryosophy and Anthroposophy, especially the tendency to accept unsupported assertions as fact, as well as the ideological similarities.

    As I mentioned in the article, if it is factually true that “races” develop “spiritually”, then Anthroposophy is not racist. But as I also argued in the article, (and linked to the most recent biology on race) there is no evidence for this.

    There is also no such thing as “genetic memory”, nor is there any way that melatonin can carry or transmit complex cultural information. Nor does Steiner talk about it like that. He connects it to spiritual beings for which there is no evidence, nor is there any reason to believe that even if such being did exist, that Steiner or anyone else has ever perceived them or gained information from them.

  84. As someone that grew up on Waldorf Schools most of my life and had experienced a lot of bullying, I see practical evidence of some of your statements. It would be helpful to get more scientific matter on this subject. As you had mentioned, in order to get a qualified debate, being self referential is not helpful. You are mentioning Steiner’s ideas through the voice of someone who stand against him but also doesn’t present quotes or any other data regarding where and when Steiner have stated such ideas.

  85. Thanks for your thoughtful and intelligent comment, Larissa.

    Regarding bullying, yes — what I and others here wrote is purely personal and anecdotal, and doesn’t mean that there is more bullying in Waldorf schools than other schools. But what bothered me about what I saw was the response to it: avoiding responsibility to do anything about it, and telling victims to just toughen up. If that attitude is indeed ideology-based, then the system needs to improve.

    I appreciate your criticism that I don’t provide enough references. That is, I think, a fair criticism.

    Specific references for my general descriptions of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Pädagogik are indeed missing. However, I’ve tried my hardest to represent Steiner’s ideas fairly. If you think I’ve got something wrong, I’ll reconsider it. But I think in general, I’ve got the basics as right as any Waldorf teacher should be expected. If anyone thinks I’ve got something wrong, I’d like to know, and if it is wrong, I will correct it.

    For the specific criticisms of Steiner’s racist ideas, I used Dr Staudenmaier’s paper, which does have specific references for all the aspects that I argue are racist and wrong — so there are references for all the important parts of the article. See the footnotes for all the articles.

    General books on Anthroposophy that I studied are–
    Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment
    Philosophy of Freedom
    Occult Science
    (and dozens of others)
    Study of Man (on Education)
    Other authors:
    Stuart Easton: Man & World in the Light of Anthroposophy; and Rudolf Steiner: Herald of a New Epoch

  86. National Socialism isn’t about “racism” or bigotry. In short, it would be astute of one to study the doctrine, objectively read Mein Kampf and Die Zweites Buch in their context, and study the history of the situation from both sides in depth. Fact: The Waffen SS was the most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse force in history, made up of VOLUNTEERS from over 30 nations.

  87. Well you’re right about that. Some were probably Chinese. Others were probably just some 300 pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere.

  88. […] Waldorf Critics, Spirituality is no excuse, e rapporti francesi sulle "sette […]

  89. […] of the “degeneration” of Aryan races, with blacks the least evolved. Anthroposophy is based on a hierarchy of races and teaches that there is a spiritual reason for the hierarchy, with black people distinguished by […]

  90. […] “gerarchia delle razze umane”. Si vedano gli articoli di Psiram, Waldorf Critics, Spirituality is no excuse e il capitolo sul razzismo del rapporto francese sulla “setta […]

  91. Steiner was talking mostly about times when the root races were mostly separate and living within their domain. You have to allow these terms to step back and be broad. White people refers generally to those living in Europe. Asian to Asia etc. Steiner also said a black New Yorker in New York is a New Yorker. It only makes sense if you understand it broadly across aeons, in reference to vast swathes of peoples that populate continents, and the folk-souls that are consequent. If you apply todays tribal language to this you belittle the monumentalism of the time-frame. Thees are epochs. Steiner also said as the race mingle, the folk-soul differences disappear and become meaningless. So, instead of ascribing some kind of supremacist or euro-centric attitude to him, perhaps we could step and see the size and generality of the terms . You can apply modern paradigms of “being racist” to vast ancient historical evolutions. You have to separate culture, and spirit-soul from concepts as base as melatonin. Anthroposophy only works in any critical mind if you think big and wide. If you want to break it up, pick and choose and scrutinise it on “your” terms you will inevitably find concerns and mismatches, like any elaborate belief system. I feel many hear are reading things piecemeal and projecting their own ideas onto the material.

  92. And yes I dont doubt Atnhropops cover up racsim, as much as anyone. Especially if they are uncomfortalbe discussing it. Thanks for provoking
    the dicussion.

  93. “Steiner was talking mostly about times when the root races were mostly separate and living within their domain. […]. Thees are epochs. Steiner also said as the race mingle, the folk-soul differences disappear and become meaningless.”

    Riiiiight. I’m sure I’m pointed to this passage from Steiner before:

    “I recently went to a bookstore in Basel, where I found the latest range on offer of what’s currently being printed: a negro novel about how negroes are gradually coming into European nations! They are doing their negro dances everywhere, their hopping negro dances. Yet this negro novel is already here. It is boring, terribly boring, but people devour it. Yes, I myself am convinced, if we get a number of such negro novels, and we give them to pregnant women to read, especially during the early stages of pregnancy, when they tend to develop such cravings – if we give these negro novels to pregnant women to read, then we don’t need to be worried about negroes coming to Europe and creating mulattos; Merely through the spiritual effect of reading such negro novels a good number of children in Europe will be all grey, have mulatto hair and will look like mulattos!”

  94. Well done. You’ve found the 10 lines of a bad joke wthi hundreds of books that can validate complete dismissal of an entire body of work. Would your life stand perfectly stand up to scrutiny ?

  95. You honestty dont believe Steiner thought reading books could change foetal devleopement ? The idea of root-races preserving their blood until they are strong enoguh to mingle is only supremacist if you take the view that the caucasian root-race is inherently superior. Only someone with latent prejudice or racial bias could only see this idea as inherently racist. It takes an open mind to be open to that idea as it is contaminated with unconscious racist projections.

  96. For me, it’s like someone is pounding on your door to tell you the building is on fire and you stop to criticize their clothing.

  97. @j,

    As ‘Steinermentary’ indicates, an essential aspect that you didn’t mention is hierarchy — that blacks are like teenagers, whites like adults, etc, etc.

    The only way that this idea is not racist is if it is factually true, As I covered in the article, modern genetics has demolished any basis for any kind of racial hierarchy.

    Another problem is the idea that the destruction of “primitive” societies was seen by Steiner as inevitable because of the inherent superiority of white culture. I think reasonable Anthroposophists need to come up with some answers for these problems.

    One racist Anthropsophist in an earlier comment said this:

    “Or perhaps the great war against all will only be worse with the fact that there are Ahrimanic MUSLIMS in Europe, As the Ahrimanic thinking muslim stream is alive in Britain and Europe, even here in Scotland we have a small amount of Rude Musims who have a Ahrimanic hate towards Christians . The backwards thinking of the negitive Ahriman Muslim man is to hold mankind to Materalism.
    We all know from RS ISLAM Is materialist and Ahrimanic in its force. so having so much Muslims about will help when the time comes when Ahriman is incarnated, falling in the time with the war against all agains all, which has to be Religous Driven, the War of all against must be Religious Driven, No hate passion will come from someone who is not fanatic like many Muslims. This wil push Christians to see there calling and fight for Christ.”

    If you have the time and energy, I’d be curious to know how you would go about disagreeing with him.

  98. Yeah of course it’s a bad joke. Just like this is another one of his jokes:

    “The karma of this child was such that the ego, to put it bluntly, had ordered the van and the van overturned to fulfil the child’s karma.”

    I love the jokes where he tells his audience a child has been possessed by a demon. I’ve rolled on the floor at his sketch about demons living in electricity. I wet myself at the idea that vaccinations would negatively affect my next life, that the heart is not a pump, that England is a floating island.

    How stupid of me not to realise until now that Steiner wasn’t a guru who believed that angels from the 7th realm had come to save humanity through our children. He was a stand up comic!

  99. @ j,

    You wrote:
    “The idea of root-races preserving their blood until they are strong enoguh to mingle is only supremacist if you take the view that the caucasian root-race is inherently superior.”

    No– I wrote about this in the article. The Nazis thought the white race was inherently superior — both wrong and racist. Steiner didn’t say that. As you know, the white race is currently the most “highly developed” race because we are under the guidance of the Archangel Michael — the spirit of freedom. In the future, another race will be superior. That is different to Nazism.

    But it is still wrong. There is no Archangel Michael, just as there are no folk souls or root races.

    If this Archangel Michael really was guiding my spiritual development and that of every other white person, I and we would have every right to say we have an advantage over the other races.

    If he doesn’t exist, then he isn’t guiding any racial groups either.

    I you think he does exist — along with all this other kali yuga and Lemuria nonsense — then you have do show some evidence for it. Just saying “Steiner said it was real” isn’t good enough.

  100. Hi Yakuru – thansk for reply – re -blacks teens etc – I dont mention it because im not rigorously testing everywhere as you are. Again I don’t feel you are seeing in a general context across aeons in very general evolutionary terms. It doesnt apply to a moment today, or work with the modern concepts you are using. Maybe if you tried to see it as a generic metaphor. You are personifying the inperonsal I believe. I see America as a bad teen, and Europe as an Old Man. But I dont expect every American to get upset over this idea. Furthermore not everything about teenagers is inferior to an adult. Again you are ascribing values based on cliched perceptions. If you want to find racism you shall, even where it is not. For this reason Jung, Nietzsche, Wagner were all accused of such things. It is inevitatable when vast concepts are proposed I believe.

    re – the Islamist paragraph from that Anthropop – I dont much about Islam. I seem to remember Steiner ragarded the Monotheism of the religion would lead ultimtely to an imbalance, as it ignores the manifold nature of the divine. But i dont see the All vs All as vs Islam. This Anthropop seems simplistic or culturally biased. To propose a religious war is something to strive for seems to miss the point about the Theopsophical all inclusive nature of Anthroposophy.

    “destruction of “primitive” societies was seen by Steiner as inevitable” – is only a problem if you see his view as wishful thinking upon such. Races, culture groups, rising ,falling, dying off is nothing new. I suspect your objection is directed by anti-colonial narrative. you find his motives suspect, callous or superior towards the “inferior savage”. You seem reluctant to give creedence to the idea that maybe it’s simply an observation.

    Modern genetics has nothing to do with culture. I think you’re confusing ideas of intrinsic eternal qualities of blood, with general culture and people’s physical evolution continents apart from each other over thousands of years. There is no comparison or reason to apply modern studies to ancient evolution. You and I are discsusing completley different levels spatially and temporally.

    “There is no Archangel Michael”. – so it comes down to belief. Of course if you don’t believe the precepts of the Anthro world it all falls apart. Of course. In that case there is no point for discussion. We dont agree on the precepts. It only holds together as a whole. Simply, you just dont agree with him, hence these ideas can only seem racist. That’s it.

    No one has to show evidence for anything. Metaphysics currently only has evidence within the language of clairvoyants. You believe or know, or dont. Spiitural science doesnt use the typical meyods of science. Surely the onus of proof doest lie where you conveniently place it. That’s not how science works. The world was not flat until proven round. Likewise I could also ask you to show the evidence for the non-existence of angels. There isn’t any. And there never will be.

    Likewise if you dont believe in Kharma then of course the inevitable van killing a child is ridiculous. How else you posisbly experience such an extreme idea ?

    You wil find no evidence for the heart being a pump for example. It is commonly taught as such, in spite of that, and is the accpeted model. But common knowledge is not hard science.

    You obviosuly dont like him or his works. Or believe in it. I can’t argue with that, only what I see as the logical inconsistencies of some of your attacks on aspects of his work.

    But to argue that – this isnt true, therefore this and that – isn;t an arguement. Its just belief as much as Anthropos have their beliefs.

    I think I propsed earlier, that Steiners ideas are so vast, interwined, and elaborate and far out compared to todays thinking, that unlesss you believe in it, it can only seem insane, ludricrous, racist, or downright kooky. Personally it took me years to accept many of the concepts.

  101. There are no inconsistencies in my “attacks” as you call them. It’s clear from your response though that this is a religion to you. So it is pointless to discuss this with you.
    But trying to defend a belief system that abuses children and entire families… man, you’ve got some gall.
    I will end with this for tonight, a famous quote by Angel Garden (you see, I do know some angels exist 😉)
    “Anyone who believes in karma has got it coming to them”

  102. By religion you are I guess implying some kind of dogma or blind faith. My beliefs are no blinder than atheist assuming the non-existence of things. for myself I like to clearly seperate beliefts from assumption.s But what I believe is besides the mute point. I meant there’s no point to argue anything based on opinions. But within the context of criticised work there is an intellectual point. Even if I don’t believe anything Steiner writes I am familiar enough with the work to say that You seem to keep interpreting Steiner’s words and work in a modern context. That’s shere I think you are inconsistent. You are cirtiquing something you have not read and understood in the broad context I believe, cherry picking paragraphs that seem to prove a point or satisfy the focus of racism, and copy pasting the most extemes things you can find, and applying modern parametrrs of racism that would work, but only if you took things literally now. Aeons and epochs of culture and masses of people’s separated by continents is not racial evolution as you are talking about. Its like talking about white Euro coloniualism while igniring that every culture has had its turn at exploitation, or a a fundanemtnalist Christian taking parts of the Bible to justifiy a extreme strain of their religion. The extremist interpretation does diservice to the work I thinkg you are too closed in on what you are looking for to see the broader tapestry and how it connects. Your appraoch doesnt seem to me scientific but more like you have it it for the work, for some emotional reason.

  103. You said you didn’t want personal
    motives to be dicsussed but you broke your own rule here.

  104. Im not defending a belief system. I questioning the rigour of your methods, view and knowldege. “a belief system that abuses children and entire families… ” Right here you have gone off topic and revealed your personal bias in what you said was supposed to be a proper discussion where motives were not questioned. That you upheld that rule until it was inconvenenient tells me that the spirit of truth and enquiry is not your foremost motive.

  105. “You seem to keep interpreting Steiner’s words and work in a modern context. That’s shere I think you are inconsistent. You are cirtiquing something you have not read and understood in the broad context I believe”

    Steiner’s writings are dangerous because people accept them verbatim and apply them to today’s society.

    In that respect they are no different than Christians who believe the bible is the word of god. Therefore Steiner work must be viewed in a modern context.

    “Im not defending a belief system. I questioning the rigour of your methods, view and knowldege.”

    You certainly are defending a belief system, especially when you states things like “You wil find no evidence for the heart being a pump”. You sound like a flatearther desperately trying to justify an untenable position through flawed logic.

    We ourselves have spent years researching Steiner’s work to understand why staff members at Steiner schools seem to so casually abuse children. This has not been an intellectual exercise but a scientific approach to make sense of a community justifying a cult mentality.

    And if you don’t know how people use Steiner’s work to justify the protection and creation of rapists for example, than frankly you need to get your nose out of those old book and look and see the damage Steiner’s work is doing right now, across the world.

    We deal in research and facts. This journey for us started when an anthroposophical community attacked us when we objected to the way they were treating our children. Our research led us to understand that Steiner’s work is used the world over to abuse families. This is not hyperbole.

    Of course, not all families are abused and some have positive experiences out of that. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been indoctrinated in other ways. Steiner’s beliefs have created a dangerous cult which is more pervasive than Scientology.

    Wake up. We’re talking about actual damage to people, not an intellectual chat in the drawing room over brandy.

  106. What profound work is not dangerous if misinterpreted ? Hitler with Nietzsche, Goethe, Wagner, Jung. Life is risk, and high-minded ideas risk misunderstanding. Steiner stopped using the word “race” when it was becoming misunderstood in context. The alternative is censorship or boring literalism. Everything dumbed down, spelled out & sanitized for general spoonfeeding.

    A belief system is anything with 2 or more concepts interdepoendenet so yes, in a sense you are right. But I don;t feel I have to defend any thing. That’s notmy concenr only intellecutal dialogue. Im not invested in convincing you, only in furthering my own understanding. And if others benefit, good too.

    All around the globe there are flat eathers, but the comparison seem disengneous. As the earth as been proven round. You are very mistaken that the heart is proven to be a pump. Why not research it instead of blindly following medical traditions and propogating the untested as knowledge ?

    I can guess at reasons why Anthro has a higher propensity to abuse. But I thought we were talking about ideas, not the culture. Or is this thread more about culture ?

    Perhaps you can link me about the Anthro “rapists”? Thanks. Is the propensity higher than in other organised groups ? you write as if it is endemic and rampant,

    Also, you should recognise thsat you are off topic here.

    I can’t think of any organised spiritual group that doesn’t have these failures. It’s the inevitable descent into cult. But is with ideas and the subject you began this thread, not the culture.

  107. It doesn’t help my perception of your argument when the motive appears to be socio-political & personal.

  108. “It doesn’t help my perception of your argument when the motive appears to be socio-political & personal.”

    How revealing that you would view less highly someone’s argument if that someone has personal experience in the matter. Normally personal experience would give someone more credence, because they’ve lived what you merely talk about.

    “What profound work is not dangerous if misinterpreted ?”

    Really? You’re going with that excuse? So according to you Steiner Schools and the Goetheanum itself are misrepresenting Steiner’s work. [slow hand clap]

    “Im not invested in convincing you, only in furthering my own understanding.”

    If that were true, that could lead to an interesting conversation. But what I see is someone excusing events or statements if they don’t gel with their own personal view of the matter.

    “You are very mistaken that the heart is proven to be a pump. Why not research it instead of blindly following medical traditions and propogating the untested as knowledge ?”

    I studied biology and molecular biology. Nuff said.

    “I can guess at reasons why Anthro has a higher propensity to abuse.”

    I’d like to hear those guesses.

    “Perhaps you can link me about the Anthro “rapists”?”

    The fact you put rapist in inverted commas says so much. I can’t tell you a specific example I know exists because that pedophile was underage when he pleaded guilty of having raped three girls, so he’s under name suppression. But there are other examples which we have unearthed but aren’t personally connected to, like recent events at the Tridha Steiner School in India, or the Toronto Waldorf Academy, or the events at the Green Meadow Waldorf School.

    “Is the propensity higher than in other organised groups ? you write as if it is endemic and rampant”

    That’s a good question and I do not know the answer to that, but I do know that reports of abuse crop up with alarming regularity in Steiner Schools throughout the world. Hardly any make the connection because the media treats each school as independent. Few understand they are all connected via the pedagogy and anthroposophy.

    “But is with ideas and the subject you began this thread, not the culture.”

    If we were dealing with Latin and ancient myths, I would likely agree. But this is not the case with Anthroposophy: the ideas and the subject and completely linked to the culture, and the actions performed by followers of Anthroposophy cannot be dismissed, since their actions are Anthroposophy made manifest in our modern world.

  109. What I get from your tone is anger and resentment. The premise of a discussion on ideas is easily blurred by emotional vendettas. And that is what this looks like to me. There is no longer a topic here, but a personal social crusade or campaign. Which is fine, but not my business in being here. You want to join in your condemnation with the same relish based purely on a few sentences descriving your experiences., and staying objective an on point is tantamount to excusing & dismissal. It is this “with us or against us” approach as the extermist social justice movment of . The commas ” ” were because i was quoting you. It is very . It;s not that i dont believe the news you relate, but that I dont see evidnce it connects with the philosophies. It very well might. But the way your write does nothing to inspire some research in that direciton . All institutions have these problems. My critcism of your appraocah from the beingning was that you seem to me looking for problems and reasons that support a hypoethesis . I think you see through a glass too darkly, and cynicism and bitterness blinds you and chokes reasonable dialogue. I have no interest in joining any campaigns. I wish you well in your fight for justice, but that is not why I joined this thread

  110. Ironically your article provoked me into deep study and thought of the seperate evolution of the africa/asian/caucasian cultures and the strugggle Anthropsophy had with Fascism, and now ethno-groups carry knowledge over time, and I thank you for that

  111. “My critcism of your appraocah from the beingning was that you seem to me looking for problems and reasons that support a hypoethesis”

    Not at all. More to the point, problems found us, and we then spent years trying to understand why this happened as we worked to undo the damage done to our children. This lead us down the path of reading about what Steiner believed in.

    Your philosophical approach to this subject is not sufficient when the belief system you are analysing abuses children.

    You say “I dont see evidnce it connects with the philosophies.”

    That’s because this is a comment section and not an article. If you want to see the evidence, visit our ever growing website on the subject (just click on our name to go there).

    The philosophy of Steiner is racist. Of that there is no doubt. Not the white nationalist racism that people might think of instinctively when they hear the R word, but believing that Aryans are currently at the top of the evolutionary tree, and that if you’re a good brown person you will reincarnate in a pinker hue, makes for a racist belief.

    From your previous comments you appear to
    – lack the basic understanding of anatomy (the heart is a pump – well a sort of double pump if you want to be slightly more precise),
    – you think angels exist – do you know there are places in Steiner schools that staff don’t monitor because that’s the place where angels look after the children? If this isn’t rife for abuse I don’t know what is.
    – you think karma is real (did you know Steiner schools use karma to justify not stoping bullying because they believe bullying redresses the karmic balance? And parents entrust their children to such places believing they will be safe and nurtured).

    This makes you a prime candidate for anthroposophical indoctrination.

    “It is this “with us or against us” approach as the extermist social justice movment of”

    ROFL. When it comes to child abuse, there really are only two positions: in favour of it, or against it.

    Excusing a belief system, that evidentially allows such abuse, is being in favour of it. So where exactly do you stand on that front?

  112. Hi. Interesting about the non-intervention to allow natural kharma & angel safe spaces. Some would argue this is an extremist misunderstood application of kharma theory. Which other his ideas would you say encourage abuse or rape ? Genuinely curious. The way I see it, the philosophy of Steiner is necesarrily viewed as racist if you see it as ascribing greater intrinsic value to caucasians. Only if you believe in reincarnation or that he was referring to Europeans generally as a poeple in Europe can it be seen as not racist. Thoughts ?

    re vs/against – child abuse – i meant vs or against the idea that the accurate interpretation/applicaiton of his ideas are directly causual. For you it not even a question. But that doesn’t mean that is where all discussion follows on from, unless there is no discussion. I amazed you would think anyone is pro-child abuse. I thik we both know a personage as Steiner would not be into that, and that it is a misapplication of theory. But tell me a set of elaborate systems that is not prone to miunderstanding and abuse ? And if arguing such somehow justifies the abuse, then doesn’t that suggest that a system much only yield perfect results ? Can you name such a system ?

    Capitlism, Buddhism, Chrisitanity, socalism. It all must go. What does that leave. Anarchy ?

  113. Cant find link. Could you please copy paste send here.

    Are you sure yr not talking about religion, and dogma? . eg Christianity – child abuse. The dark side of these things when they are applied blindly or with a kind of fundamentalism ? Isnt that everywhere in any system ? Why would Anthroposophy be immune to that. Why should it be the first special incorruptible system in the history of the world ? Or can you send me something in his writings that specifically exhorts this, for example advocates non-interventionin bullying etc.

  114. Thanks for your comments. one and all. I’ve been traveling and haven’t had time to read properly and respond.

    One editorial note: @j, please try to post only one comment at a time; not strings of comments and afterthoughts. Thanks.

    I’ll comment more fully tomorrow.

  115. nothing was “smashed”. There ARE race differences. (It’s quite hilarious that when jews say there are race differences, you never seem to say anything. But when someone is white, or is PRETENDING to be white, you immediately jump on them with your Marxist propaganda. That bullsht study you linked are from the same people who forged fake skeletons to say some [utterly stupid racist insult deleted -Ed.] was “eve”. But of course you already knew that. Can have pesky facts like that in your bullsht article, right?
    Never mind the fact that Steiner consorted with Woodrow Wilson, the piece of sht who sold America to the jew bankers.

  116. Wrong, Dumbass. The idea of a racial hierarchy — which is what I was writing about — has indeed been utterly smashed to pieces by modern genetics. Read the article I linked to, and read the paragraph in which I linked it.

    I wasn’t saying anything at all about differences between races. Given that you failed to understand that, the rest of your comment is irrelevant.

    I will however note that the author of the article I linked to–
    — did write the definitive text on speciation, but did not “forge” any fake skeletons. What on earth are you talking about you stupid man?

    As for the rest of it, I know exactly where you get your laughably ignorant anti-Jewish hysteria from, but I have no idea why you think I’m a Marxist.

  117. “What on earth are you talking about you stupid man?”
    the fact that you have no clue about them, and that, shows how YOU are ignorant, and ignore inconvenient facts.

    “laughably anti-jewish hysteria”
    Yeah you’re TOTALLY not a Marxist. What’s the matter? did i put a dent in your ADL cheque?

    [Commenter now blocked. -Ed.]

  118. I decided to block this person from commenting further here. There has been some value in dealing with racist/ignorant comments here, but this is just content-free trolling.

  119. yeah you welcome comments as long as it doesn’t question your (((paymasters))). When the truth is inconvenient, you throw out petty jew-isms like “racist” to shut people up. But we don’t shut up any more, and that bothers you. Good little Bolshevik you are. Sad little (((slave))).

  120. Actually it wasn’t because of all that, but rather because you, Agesilaus Johnny the King of Sparta, weren’t saying anything about Anthroposophy. But I realise that for you the article isn’t about Anthroposophy but Nazism, so I guess your perspective is potentially not quite as irrelevant as I first thought.

    However, accusations and insults don’t really belong on a discussion forum do they — so you’re a bit out of your depth here.

    But if you want to have another try, say something new and give a reason for your views, not just opinion plus emotion like the last two times.

    Personally I don’t think you’re capable, but maybe I’m wrong.

  121. One only has to talk to a Chinese person to hear of the differences between races (eg they dont assimilate alcahol same way, hence drink less) I believe when Steiner talks about the races, he means in a aeons length spatial-cultural context. Beacuse of the continental seperatedness of the root races, there were diferent steams of evolution producing different characteristics which is also ovbious in the plant and animal kindgom. Nothing unusual there. Nor in the idea that ceratin cultures overtook or fell behidn others throughout time. When one applies instrinsic hierarchical value to those differences the ideas of raicial superiority become problemtic. There is a popular assumption that any positivie talk of one’s own race or of the current dominating race, must be based on an idea of racial superiority. Hence, the dialogue can never be honest.

  122. I believe the fear of one’s own biases and prejudices blocks one from discussing such things comfortably and naturally.

  123. I never said anywhere that there are no differences between races. I have white skin and a long nose, for example — a result, most likely of selection pressures as humans migrated further north. Why do so many people here think I deny this?

    Apart from that you go wrong in a few places.

    –“I believe when Steiner talks about the races, he means in a aeons length spatial-cultural context…”–

    No, that’s not what he said. That’s your own version.

    –“…there were diferent steams of evolution producing different characteristics which is also ovbious in the plant and animal kindgom. Nothing unusual there.”–

    No, he was not talking about the well researched and well supported processes of genetic mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, etc, nor the usual historical processes of cultural development. You are wrong to try to smuggle Anthroposophy under this disguise.

    Anthroposophy teaches a vast and completely unsupported and untenable ideological apparatus that includes a reincarnation, group souls, ruling Archangels, and God-given measures for success and failure. Those who are *still* black have failed these tests so far, according to Steiner. A Nazi would say black people are inherently inferior; Anthroposophy says they need to try harder but might one graduate to a higher race.

    If those assertions by Steiner are right, then the ideas are not racist. But if they’re wrong, then they’re racist as well. And there’s absolutely no evidence that Steiner could perceive all those higher truths that no one else can, and much to suggest it’s all just half digested ideas Theosophical ideas taken from Hinduism and esoteric Christianity.

    –“Nor in the idea that ceratin cultures overtook or fell behidn others throughout time.”–

    There is indeed a problem with the idea of “overtook or fell behind”. You write as if you mean the normal sociological measures of flourishing or losing political dominance, but as an Anthroposophist you are really referring to those God-given spiritual measures that are implied in the idea of “evolution of consciousness”.

    –” When one applies instrinsic hierarchical value to those differences the ideas of raicial superiority become problemtic.”–

    Indeed — you don’t admit (or realise?) that Anthroposophy does exactly that.

    –“There is a popular assumption that any positivie talk of one’s own race or of the current dominating race, must be based on an idea of racial superiority.”–

    And here it becomes visible: you attribute cultural/political dominance with race. Go back and read the article I linked to in the post
    –it spells out very clearly how culture does not arise from genetics. Human culture is much more complex and complicated than Steiner thought.

  124. Your ascribing ill intent to me. It would be a better discussion of you refrain from assuming a motive or agenda. Smuggling requires an intent to disguise.

    I already agreed that Steiner;s ideas are neessrily racist by the insufficenet defintions we have as am I. Unless one applies the definition whereby ill-intent must be present.

    No not ,political dominance, but more spiritual, cultural or social. But yes, as you say, teaches that caultures/races may get ahead and behind in a spiriatual sense in a very general over thousnads of years sense, but this is fading as the world homogenoises and mixes with travel and techonogy, As Steiner rpedicted, race will become meaningless.

    As Steiner said an african ameica in new york is a new yorker

    Yes there is no evidence in the clasic scientific sense. The entire systme rest on the belief that there were clairvovoyant invrstigations that are verifiable by other clairvoyants who perceive the Akashic record. If you are not open to that, then you are neceesarily sceptical or disbelieving. In that way, it is a bit like a relgion.

    As I understand it, Anthroposophy applies intrinsic value to various qualities that may in the bigger picutre accompany differently evolved races over aeons of time, but not the the absolute worth of a human being, Ther’s a difference.

    eg – I’m open that perhaps asians and causcaisan have diffrent qualtiiies that are inferior and suoperior to each other, but i belive that both have equal instrincis by vrtue of they’re being souls.

    Thanks for that liink. but i cant read it as im not subscribed.

    I only would atrtibute dominance in race according to a races tendenceies to inventivemess, exploration agressiveness, expnsion, relgion etc. over thousands of years seperated by contenst in distinct streams of evolution But I believe this is 95% culture not race. And culture is in aprt a product of race.

    The race thing is becoming meaningless, but was for a time, significant.

  125. The ascribign fo ill-intent or Eure-cemtrism is why Anthro must necessarrily be necessarily viewed as racist in todays light. While it it reasonable to believe in instrinsic inferiorirty and superiority in races historically as they take turns at leading things, there is no way aroumd that it is technicaly racist. Hence many reasonable unprejudiced people are technically racist I am technically racist.

  126. Again, you’ve missed the point.

    –“I’m open that perhaps asians and causcaisan have diffrent qualtiiies that are inferior and suoperior to each other”–

    You’ve assumed that any such “differences” are due to their “race”, which simplistic and wrong. And what is the measure you use for “inferior or superior”? Steiner’s measure is his idea of spiritual hierarchy, and it’s wrong and racist.

    And please explain what you mean here–
    –“Yes there is no evidence in the clasic scientific sense. The entire systme rest on the belief that there were clairvovoyant invrstigations that are verifiable by other clairvoyants who perceive the Akashic record.”–

    How do you know there is an Akashic record? And please name some of the “other clairvoyants” who confirm this.

    And most importantly, explain why anyone should believe those clairvoyants and not all the other revelations from religious mystics who say completely different things?

  127. Ther’s no assumptoin. Chines friends tell me about their genetic disposstions to alcohol. Or do you mean they are making assumptions about their own race ?

    “More than one in three people with East Asian heritage (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) experience facial flushing when drinking beer, wine or spirits. In Asian populations, it is due to an inherited deficiency in one of the enzymes involved in the breakdown of alcohol: aldehyde dehydrogenase.”

    Again, this is why I suspect there’s’ alot of deinal in your thinking. It; feels lke a knee-jerk reaction White people often have this to conmpensate for fear or existen or non-existent biases or even prejudice or racsim in some cases. Though I dont want to be one ascribe intent either.

    I can’t explain how I know as much as someone who feels they know there is a god can’t explain it. I cant name the clarivoyants. Its not my field, though there a great deal of agreement between mystics, so-called if you will, clairvoyants, etc.

    We are getting into the philosophy of knowledge here. You want to go there?

    That was my point. Itd down to faith, blind belief etc not unke a religion. It’s not scientific in the classci way of typically measurable data. Most scientists are not clairvoyant, and few clarivoyants I expect are scientifically rigid.

    I can;t easily say why anyone should believe anything. I based my beliefs on obseravtion, instution and i look for patterns, consistencies and things tht fit consistenently and uncontradictarily. I;d say everyone ha stheir own method of arriving at bleief or knowledge, as I expectt you suspect also.

    What point missed ?

  128. Again, you have completely missed the point.

    I repeat, I don’t deny that there are physiological differences between racial groupings. Nor does the article I asked you to read deny that.

    The physiological differences between racial groups do not support Anthroposophical teachings about root races or spiritual hierarchies.

    The only way that Anthroposophy is not racist if there is some way of showing that Steiner’s teachings are factual. So far you’ve just offered a lot of vague speculations and claimed that “clairvoyants” would confirm them.

    That is a very weak defense against the charge of racism.

  129. Im not defending against your charge,more discussing. As I said, by the modern definitions, Steiner, myself, and virtually everyone who doesnt subscribe blindly to ideals of perfect equaliy or affirms that a particular minority or subjugated group is superior, is racist.

    You wrote “You’ve assumed that any such “differences” are due to their “race”, ” I responded that these are not assumptions but established biological facts.

    Generally I feel some of your ideas come burdened with some assumptions about my assumptions, Steiners intent, definitions, the idea of guilt by association, or the non-seperation of ideas from proponents of those ideas etc.

    I agree, only by showing the factuality of his teachings can it be proved. So necessarily, those who believe or know will see it as non-racist, and those who dont, will see it as racist. It’s all or nothing. The ideas hold up somehow, or fall like a house of cards.

    just as Christianity is a riduclous grand scale fairy tale con or true, Or buddha is con or an enlightened being.

    Perhaps if you define racism, it might be clearer ? I’m not sure if you have done that yet.


  130. Again, you have missed the point entirely.

    As I said repeatedly and in the article — it is not racist to discuss biologically verified (or verifiable) differences between racial groupings. But the differences that you and Steiner imagine between races do not exist.

    The cultural differences that MAY exist between racial groups are not transmitted genetically, and therefore are not due to race.

    So the claim that blacks are like children, for example, is both wrong, and racist.

    The idea that races are placed on a hierarchy according to the level of “evolutionary development” is wrong, and it is racist.

    It is also anti-scientific. Evolutionary changes are driven by mutation and the various processes of natural selection. Evolution is not a scale of “progress”, rather it is simply so change over many generations whereby species become better adapted to their particular habitat.

    To see spiritual evolution as somehow happening as Steiner is completely speculative, completely without any evidence whatsoever, and contradicted by everything we do know.

    A great many of Steiner’s ideas are wrong, unverifiable, contradicted by the evidence, or contradicted by other supposed clairvoyants and mystics.

    And his ideas on race are both wrong and racist.

  131. And of course you continue with your jew-isms, OMG RACIST HOMOPHOBE, NAZI!!! same ADL garbage every time. Conveniently you completely ignore what i said, thereby proving me 100% correct. Congratulations moron, you played yourself. “The jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.” Funny how you jews accuse people of the very thing of which you are guilty. You tell me i make it all about those jew-isms that you throw at me to shut me up, and yet YOU were the first one to do it with this garbage ADL article.
    And don’t you fucking dare tell me i don’t have proof, when even JEW ARTICLES THEMSELVES prove you wrong. Or are you going to call things like the Times of Israel “racist” and “nazi”? of course you won’t, because you won’t bite the hand that feeds you. Gotta get them shekels…

  132. What did I ignore? Do you mean where you claimed that there are indeed racial differences — which I don’t deny at all — or where you claimed that the whole of modern genetics is wrong because of mysterious “forged fake skeletons”? Do you mean Piltdown Man or something else?

    Also, I didn’t mention anything about Jews in the article, nor am I influenced by Judaism especially, nor am I Jewish, nor am I a Marxist. Why do you keep talking about Jews?

  133. I dont believe anyone in has adequate acess to the past to ascertain what racial differences may or may not have existed in races seperated by aeons and oceans. I think yr over stretchign beyond scientific reach with such a claim. Steiner claims to know via clairvoyance and one will believe that or not.

    There are well known physiological differences in races eg East Asian propensity to alcohol, etc The idea of differences being more markedly obvioius or measurable over time and space isnt far fetched at all. The problem seems to be that to suggest as much must always come with a vested interest in the superiority of one’s own race.

    I think there’s no way to reconcile the criticisms. I believe the ideas of root races, of souls moving up and down incarnating in races. It is a core to the whole thing. Without it many holes appear and Im not sure it could stand as a cardboard construction. I think he is speaking genrally of people’s seperated by aeons and oceans over great swathes of time. Pschiologies, temperaments and tendencies naturally evolve. Remnants persist.

    Counter-balancing all this is that Steiner’s declaration that a “negro” in New york has all the qualities of a NYer. ie its the culture yr born into, not something intrinsic. And that race fades to meaingless as things evolve through time. (i think we are already there fading). Even Chinese/East Asian today handle alcohol different to other races. For me its not so far fetched that biological and mental temperaments may have differed in past over aeons. But generally he implied a moving towards the caucasian future as they carries of greater part fo knowledge for now. I dont doubt in this case it woudl be another race in future carrying the knowledge. But obviously these things can not be easily expressed to most. Most of my black friends lean more to emotional instinctual or impressionistic thought than rational type thought. Even a museum got in trouble recently for suggesting as much https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article244309587.html I expect this is culture, and habitual remnants of the past.

    I see no clarity between what is better or worse. Or have an issue that races were once different.
    Or that there are inherent qualities. Some define this inherent ascribing as “racist”. Others require also that one believes in inherent superiority. I believe there must be also be hateful intent. But there is an implied hierarchy of sorts in terms of how far along the evolutionary path one will incarnate is deterinannt of racial birth. By the 2nd definition it seems Steiner and myself for believing him, despite having no malice and treating everything equally as they come, are by todays conceptions racist. I know im not as the meaning of the word typically goes. I can live with it. My intent is what matters to me. It means I will never in this lifetime (or millenium maybe) be able to freely express or discuss my beliefs except with the likes of yourself, for fear of misunderstanding or judgment. I think the problem merely lies in a “word” or “concept” in the face of a mult-aeon/level universe that boggles linear binary thinking.

    It changes nothing of my way with my anyone, eg with my oldest friend who happens to be black for example (bornin Oz culture) as I have always consistently taken anyone as they come to me in that moment.

    I find this purpose of white culture evident in the enlightenemnt, invention, Europes achievemtns in classical music, philosophy, renassiance, invention, architecture, and science for example.

    I am also considering that the white “ahem” race is in decline and its purpose of being prime carrier of the spiritual is obsolete. I see a lot of regression, especially in USA. That now we are thrown into the mix and soon it will be a racial free for all at an indifvidual for the fruits of spiritual evolution.

    Much of my belief comes from experience living for years in Papua New Guinea (and less so Malaysia) where as a child I felt to perceive innate differences between myself and the locals beyond culture, but I couldn’t figure out what or why, being a child. This perception disturbed me even then, as my father raised me to treat everyone equally, and I was thrown into a kind of cognitive dissonance. I also saw that they subtly perceived & accepted as simple fact these differences without resentment or question. This alleviated somewhat any guilt or denial. Again, it was not really a matter of “better or worse” in any way as much as “different”. Beyond the epectd cultural differentials. I have to empthasise this whole experience both very subtle & intuitive, but obviously left an impression as I recall it after all these years, only because it is relevant to my current thoughts. For these reasons I feel it is a profound feeling.

    That personal intent beyond truth is removed as a subject of discussion sounds alarms bells to me, as motive is inevitably bound up in result and phenonema such as white or majority guilt, racial self-loathing, bias to underdog etc play a huge part in any discussion concerning oppressed groups. The nature of thought itself cannot hereb be discussed here. There is also a lot of emotionalism and judgment in the article above which can only cloud.

    Personally I dont think this discussion can be ever resolved because it is impossible to be dispassionate to people’s suffering.

    I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts. Thanks for reading this far. J

  134. Thanks for your thoughtful and clearly formulated response, Justin. People often just get excited and start spouting out random ideas, so thanks for taking care.


    –I dont believe anyone in has adequate acess to the past to ascertain what racial differences may or may not have existed in races seperated by aeons and oceans. I think yr over stretchign beyond scientific reach with such a claim.–

    Well there is plenty of genetic data, and a great deal can be inferred from it — and absolutely none of it supports Steiner’s assertions. None.

    Even more importantly, evolutionary biology and evolutionary genetics have completely and utterly demolished all claims that there is any kind of racial hierarchy. Steiner’s claim that there is such a hierarchy, with some “races” more highly developed — according to the spiritual progress he claims is real — than other, is therefore wrong.

    It is wrong to say that black Africans are or at any time in the last 200 000 years or more, somehow “less evolved” than white Europeans are today. Wrong, and racist as well. If it were right, it would not be racist, but it’s wrong.

    So you are wrong to claim that such things can’t be known. They are known. You have clearly never informed yourself about the relevant science.

    –Steiner claims to know via clairvoyance…–

    You reject the science without even knowing what it says, but you accept Steiner’s claims that (a) a spirit world exists, (b) that it interpenetrates with the material world; (c) that this can be perceived by humans; (d) that he is one such human; and (e) that he is perceiving it correctly.

    …– and one will believe that or not.–

    You make it sound as if it’s a mere matter of opinion, but even if your readers here agree to lower their standards to that degree, then they will open the door to all the millions of other clairvoyant claims. Why is Steiner right, and L Ron Hubbard or Barbara Marciniak wrong?

    Give Steiner a pass here, and you automatically give all his competitors a pass too. You need evidence for Steiner’s clairvoyance, not merely to assert that he deserves special attention and all the others don’t.

    –There are well known physiological differences in races eg East Asian propensity to alcohol, etc The idea of differences being more markedly obvious or measurable over time and space isnt far fetched at all.–

    I know — read the article!

    –The problem seems to be that to suggest as much must always come with a vested interest in the superiority of one’s own race.–

    Nope. The problem is the claim that there is a hierarchy of races, or progressive steps on a spiritual ladder that races upon which various races are (or were at any other time) located.

    This is what Steiner claims, and it’s racist and it’s utter rubbish.

    –I think there’s no way to reconcile the criticisms.–

    If you believe Steiner’s assertion that such a measure for spiritual progress exists and that the Archangel Michael told him about it, then ok, but you can’t complain if others call you a racist.
    If you reserve judgment about it until you’re shown evidence for such claims, then you’re not a racist. –Simple. Reconciled.

    –I believe the ideas of root races, of souls moving up and down incarnating in races.–

    Exactly. You can only “believe” it, because there’s no evidence for it. And you’re prepared to risk being a racist because of your decision to do that.
    No one is arguing here that races don’t exist, or even that there are no generalised differences between the races. You note physiological differences that are uncontroversial, and also noted in the articles by scientists that i linked to. But this doesn’t support the idea of a hierarchy of races measured according to spiritual progress. It doesn’t even support the idea of non-ersoteric *cultural* differences resulting somehow from race.

    See the article from evolutionary geneticist Alan Orr that I linked to. It explains exactly why such ideas about races are wrong.

    –It is a core to the whole thing. Without it many holes appear and Im not sure it could stand as a cardboard construction. I think he is speaking genrally of people’s seperated by aeons and oceans over great swathes of time. Pschiologies, temperaments and tendencies naturally evolve. Remnants persist.–

    And there is your misunderstanding. Just like Steiner, you have an essentialist conception of evolution, which was popular among 18th Century scholars where Steiner got the idea. It isn’t clairvoyance, just outdated scholarship.

    There is no essence of races, and not even of species. Evolution is not preprogrammed, it doesn’t unfold, there is no Scala natura to be ascended. Rather, evolution is tied to habitat. The misleading term “fittest” refers merely to those variants among a genetic population that are best suited to differential reproduction in a given habitat. As that habitat changes, so too does fitness, or suitability to it. Dark skin (not a result of too much carbon as Stener stupidly asserted) was simply better for some climates at one time. Lighter skin (which the ealiest members of our species probably had) is also just an adaptation to climate. It’s not a sign of “spiritual adulthood” as Steiner thought.

    –I see no clarity between what is better or worse. Or have an issue that races were once different.–

    I’m glad you disagree with Steiner with Steiner on that point. You are right. Steiner had absolutely no reason whatsoever to see some races as the childhood of the species and others more advanced.

    –Or that there are inherent qualities.–

    There is your philosophical essentialism again.

    –Some define this inherent ascribing as “racist”.–

    Yep, because it usually is. What is always is, however, is factually wrong and scientifically implausible. Belief in essentialism is where your and Steiner’s error comes from.

    –Others require also that one believes in inherent superiority.–

    Steiner believes this. I’m glad you don’t.

    –I believe there must be also be hateful intent.–

    I said in the article that I don’t think Steiner was by temperament a racist.

    –But there is an implied hierarchy of sorts in terms of how far along the evolutionary path one will incarnate is deterinannt of racial birth. By the 2nd definition it seems Steiner and myself for believing him, despite having no malice and treating everything equally as they come, are by todays conceptions racist.–

    Yes, your *ideas* are racist, just like his. You might not be a racist, just someone who gets their science from the the 1800s.

    –I know im not as the meaning of the word typically goes. I can live with it. My intent is what matters to me. It means I will never in this lifetime (or millenium maybe) be able to freely express or discuss my beliefs except with the likes of yourself, for fear of misunderstanding or judgment.–

    I already discussed this in the article. The issue not the accusation of racism, but that your ideas are flat wrong. Racism didn’t motivate you, but rather your decision to believe that Steiner got the ideas from clairvoyant perception, and that it’s merely a coincidence that his clairvoyant perceptions are identical to misconceptions about race from the 1800s.

    –I think the problem merely lies in a “word” or “concept” in the face of a mult-aeon/level universe that boggles linear binary thinking.–

    Linear binary thinking is to hear someone say “I’m clairvoyant” and to take them at their word.

    –It changes nothing of my way with my anyone, eg with my oldest friend who happens to be black for example (bornin Oz culture) as I have always consistently taken anyone as they come to me in that moment.–

    I believe you.

    –I find this purpose of white culture…–

    Assuming a grand design and a purpose for all races….

    –…evident in the enlightenemnt, invention, Europes achievemtns in classical music, philosophy, renassiance, invention, architecture, and science for example.–

    Yes, history by its nature involves change, and continuity can lead to progress. Inevitably there will be times when a particular culture is dominant.

    I can relate to your thoughts about your childhood in Papua New Guinea. It all sounds fairly normal human experience of growing up in a culture vastly different from the parental home. And I can understand why Steiner resonated with you.

    The insight that belief in essentialism prevents people from properly understanding evolution comes from the great German biologist Ernst Mayr, who worked for decades in in PNG.Unless you find out why, you won’t be able to evaluate whether or not evolutionary theory supports or demolishes yours and Steiner’s ideas about race.

  135. We disagree on the limits of science stretching back & the validity of essentialism.

    Do you believe a person who believes in the spiritual can also be non-esssentialist or they are inseperable ?

    Correct me if Im wrong. You don’t believe that changes in mind, thinking, concept, and ways of thinking can be genetically preserved and passed within peoples seperated for aeons by large natural bodies. Is that a crux of this disagreement ?

    I would argue that a belief in peoples seperated by oceans may evolve differently can be both right & racist. As evolution implies improvement which implies one being better than another. We agree there are known differences between races. Does the belief that that may deem one group instrincally superior or not determine racism ? Does intrinsic mean inevitable always or if considered in flux is that more a function of time.

    In matters of deep spiritual beliefs I think to say opinion trivialises the depth of faith. Doesn’t sound very scientific I know.

    Faith supercedes , so of course there is not a blind blanket of passess given out to anyone. Perhaps you have science as you see it. I have faith, feeling, observation of pattersn and some science. My method can easily be critiicised as scientifically weak.

    I dont risk being a racist. I am technically a racist.

    I’ve finally come to agree with you in this regard. Racism is by defintion an attitude or belief. One must ascribe intent. I believe it is impossible to prove either way of Steiner’s attitude or beliefs. Regarding Anthropsophy one believes in it or not, and if one does not, it’s seems pretty impossible to show it is not racist. And even if one does believe, the philosophy itself is technically racist as it requires a believe in a hierarchy of races. I feel fine about it because I believe it is true and devoid of ill intent. By our current definitions, evolution works in a racist way and even if ultimately a non-white race ends up the main carrier of finally developed wisdom or races become mixed or irrelevant in the big scheme (which I believe they are now becoming after aeons of seperation by aeons & oceans) it cannot undo its own facts.

    Only a redefiniton that recognises reincarnative evolution. would address this – maybe “racism – the belief that a particular race will always be the superior race insofar as race exists.”

    Then whether or not you believed in reincarnative evolution, people like me are possibly not horrible, arrogant racists.

    However more likely we would be precise to be making excuses conveniently covering up our unconsious bias. And some us would be. Much of the discomfort in anthropospohy i suspect is unconscious racism or bias.

  136. Thanks (again) for your well formulated and clearly focused comment!

    –“Correct me if Im wrong. You don’t believe that changes in mind, thinking, concept, and ways of thinking can be genetically preserved and passed within peoples seperated for aeons by large natural bodies. Is that a crux of this disagreement ?”–

    Not quite.

    The main problem here is that neither you nor Justin understand the *concept* of evolution. I don’t mean you have to agree with, but rather you don’t know what it is.

    If you did, you would have realised that indeed behaviours, even thoughts, can be contained and transmitted by genes. A novel behaviour that brings a survival or reproductive advantage can become anchored in a population and can even give rise to whole new species and even new families orders and even kingdoms.

    It is not implausible that this may have happened to some degree in the relatively short history of human evolution.

    But the suitability or fitness is determined by the specific HABITAT that the variation arose in — and NOT according to any absolute measure.

    If a race is well adapted to its environment it doesn’t mean that they are “more highly evolved” or that they have “progressed”. It just means they are adapted to that environment. It doesn’t make them inherently “superior” to immigrant to that environment who don’t survive as well.

    Genes probably do have an enormous influence on behaviour, but that influence is extremely unstable from an evolutionary perspective and unpredictable as they interact not only with culture and environment, but also with other genes in an individual body. Genes are too gross a medium to transmit the finer aspects of human culture.

    This is laid out clearly in the article I linked to in my previous comment and in the article. It explains why the apparent “evidence” for such racial differences is not good.

    What you lack is evidence.

    As a habitat changes, or as a group moves to a new habitat, fitness changes — so there is no absolute measure for “evolutionary progress” as Steiner claims.

    And his ideas about the origins of black skin are completely stupid and have no basis whatsoever in human physiology or even the basic laws of chemistry.

    In fact, if “evolutionary progress” is real, then it is white skin and not black that would be regressive. The earliest Homo sapiens sapiens had light brown skin. Black skin is a “new” adaptation. White skin is in fact an evolutionary regression to skin more similar in colour to our chimp cousins.

    Essentialism is the belief that species are fixed.

    It comes ultimately from Plato, of course. The things of the world are just pale copies of its “true” Form in a higher and separate reality. This led to the conception of species as being fixed. This notion ran through not only philosophy but also biology.

    Ideas on evolution in the 17 & 1800s began to recognise that alterations to species forms were possible, but species were still seen as essentially THE SAME species, undergoing its own evolutionary path.

    Darwin changed all that, with his insight that species might not be fixed, but rather morph into new species over many generations. He was pretty much exactly right on natural selection, and finally genetics demonstrated that his essential insight was correct — there is no “essence” to a species. There is no archetypal Form of a species; nor does this archetypal Form “evolve”.

    If every individual living being that ever lived miraculously reappeared on the earth, there would be no recognisable species at all, just a vast continuum of types. Species only appear distinct when the intermediate forms have died out.

    There is no great chain of being as Plato and Aristotle — and Steiner — envisaged.

    As I said in the article, I don’t think Steiner was by temperament a racist, but his ideas are.

    To think that one race is “more evolved” than any other is to believe something for which there is no evidence for and the whole of modern biology demonstrates is wrong.

    Good intentions or stupid ones, you have no evidence for your racist ideas, and your concepts come from the early 1800s.

  137. Hi. Is this the book – “A Troublesome Inheritance” & this the link https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/06/05/stretch-genes/ to which you refer. Thanks

  138. thanks — I linked to that above and in the article, but I now realise it’s now behind a paywall, but it’s extensively quoted here–


    I urge anyone interested in this issue to read up on this case, as Steiner is wrong about race for essentailly the same reasons Nicholas Wade is.

  139. Re yr comment “I can see what lead you to Steiner” – race was the the last & least – it was your article that got me interested in Steiner’s race theories.

    To quote you ” behaviours, even thoughts, can be contained and transmitted by genes.” This is what I meant by Papua New Guinea. I perceived there was something instrinsic to PNGers beyond culture. Known or not known, it can be intuited by a child before Lamark/ Darwin enter consciousness.

    The link you sent affirms what I thought, that all this is speculative. It’s also not clear DNA is the sole determinant, indicator or carrier of inherited traits. “Ways of thinking” between people’s for example is not a particularly reserched subject. As Steiner says, a black man born in NY is a NYer. Culture & upbringing supercede any (if they exist) traits carried in a people. That they could be so obliterated by culture implies to me that it not a matter of them being deeply ingrained (or inherent) but rather superfically coded. Like a mark than be washed off. Obliterated . How is this so far -fetched ? That unmeasurable (in DNA sense) memory may exist/ carry within people’s and be obliterated by culture ? Is the issue the value attached to these differences ?

    The scenientifc method does not necessarily dictates that Non-evidence is not evidence against.

    The idea that an isolated people may carry a genetic pre-disposition to ways of thinking made manifest within the culture from birth is hardly far-fetched to many reasonable people. But evn if it is not true, there is what i believe a caucasian-centric resistance to theideal of evaluating non-white cultures.

    Evolution is an idea of a generally upward and linear change over time. Isn’t applying a value to that simply correlating to a desire for humanity’s betterment ? And why ust that also imply intrinsic values ? How cany anything be intrinsic if it potentially ever-evolving ? Why should a life be worth more than another just because it is better at something for sometime ? Is this a semantic problem here ? Or is it the problem of evaluation ? Essentialism – why shoudlnt there be inherent qualities to being human ? Isn’t essentialism not a settled phiosophical question ?

    Often in these discussions i feel there is reluctance to stay from the safe quiet shores of equality. To say all is locally relative (which sounds like standpoint theory) implies a lack of unversality. Not all closed systems are ever closed. It conveniently avoids the idea that groups will get ahead of each other and often for good reason. It

    The subjectivity reasoning or standpoint theory sees to me to offsets ideas of fixed inherentness. Between inherentness and pure subjecetiviity can there be tendencies, even tendenceies that affix to chemistry/physiology over aeons ? Something in between rather thna an either/or debate. Is this a conversation about subjectivity vs objectivity ? Is that related to the “essentialism” debate ?

    The idea of a pure ideal human type – a cause for hope or inevitability racist ? – what if the type is ultimately independent of melatonin ?

  140. You wrote:
    Re yr comment “I can see what lead you to Steiner”…

    I didn’t write that.

    To quote you ” behaviours, even thoughts, can be contained and transmitted by genes.” This is what I meant by Papua New Guinea. I perceived there was something instrinsic to PNGers beyond culture. Known or not known, it can be intuited by a child before Lamark/ Darwin enter consciousness.

    That was clumsily worded by me. I forgot to add the obvious point, that cultural transmission is by far more powerful, widepspread and imminently “perceivable” — and by “perceive” we both mean intuit and interpret.
    And the even more obvious point is that neither a child nor an adult can “perceive” whether something has been transmitted by genes or by behaviour.
    Even more importantly, the distinction that racists love to make — between “genetic” and “cultural” transmission is is not as binary as you guys hope. Nowhere near it. Most behaviours are a vast and complex mix of both ‘fixed action patterns’ (often used as preferable to the vague term ‘instinct’) and learned behaviours.
    Humans are far more complex than you think they are. Genes are very very simple things that build a protein. That’s all. Some kinds of physiologies can tend slightly more towards particular behaviours in certain situations than other physiologies. Genes and races don’t correspond to “perceived” behavioural or cultural differences. That is why you have offered no evidence — just speculations, assertions, and interpretations based on biological concepts from the 1800s.

    The link you sent affirms what I thought, that all this is speculative.

    It shows that your speculations contradict all of the well established science.

    It’s also not clear DNA is the sole determinant, indicator or carrier of inherited traits.

    That assertion which you have pulled out of thin air is wrong and absurd. The very definition of an inherited trait is that it is genetically transmitted. You have not attempted to back up your assertion-presented-as-fact with any evidence, because you don’t have any. Because there isn’t any. there has never been a single trait that clearly reappears across multiple generations that is *not* transmitted genetically.

    “Ways of thinking” between people’s for example is not a particularly reserched subject.

    Anthropology. The entire field of anthropology. Even paleo-anthropology.

    As Steiner says, a black man born in NY is a NYer. Culture & upbringing supercede any (if they exist) traits carried in a people.

    The problem is that Steiner also said that black skin is the result of “too many carbonic elements being deposited beneath the skin” because black people failed to develop their “I am” forces.
    If that idea were true or even vaguely plausible it would not necessarily be racist. But it hasn’t been plausible since the mid 1800s. Today it is completely clear that it is not only racist bullshit, and also hilariously stupid.

    I assume you are embarrassed by it.

    That they could be so obliterated by culture implies to me that it not a matter of them being deeply ingrained (or inherent) but rather superfically coded….

    No. It is a sign that your speculative mechanisms don’t exist.

    The scenientifc method does not necessarily dictates that Non-evidence is not evidence against.

    Again, this is because you don’t understand the science.

    The speculative mechanisms you postulate would have left their fingerprints all over the genome of every single organism on the planet. Absolutely nothing whatsoever has been found. The brand of Creationism that asserts ‘Intelligent Design’ has been searching for such such signs and found absolutely nothing. And neither have any Anthroposophists.

    The idea that an isolated people may carry a genetic pre-disposition to ways of thinking made manifest within the culture from birth is hardly far-fetched to many reasonable people.

    Genes can influence thoughts by producing hormones and making humans think in an angry manner. Maybe this might be heritable — to some degree — at a familial level. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that it either works or even *could* work at a racial level. It is far far far too gross. Most of the DNA that population geneticists use to distinguish racial groupings are of course insignificant makers and not genes.

    But evn if it is not true, there is what i believe a caucasian-centric resistance to theideal of evaluating non-white cultures.

    Well you could have saved a lot of time here and simply said that you “believe” and you don’t care whether it’s true or not.
    Really, you spiritual folk could save everyone a lot of time by just being more honest and saying that clearly — you believe what you want regardless of the science. Fine — but please argue about it all amongst yourselves, and don’t bother the rest of us. Why are you arguing with me instead of, say, say with Scientologists? They have just as much evidence for their claims as you have for yours.

    Evolution is an idea of a generally upward and linear change over time.

    Thank you for demonstrating so clearly that you have not bothered to find out what evolution is.

    You don’t know what it is. That’s why you don’t understand why it disproves your speculations.

    You refuse to inform yourself. Okay, fine. But don’t accuse others of being somehow afraid of your ideas. Your ideas are not radical. They are stupid and ignorant and obviously contradicted by the most basic facts of evolution and genetics.

    You think you’re part of a culture that is leading human evolution. It’s pathetic.You’re not. Your ideas belong in more the 1800s, and you can only protect your feelings of superiority by refusing to inform yourself about the most basic ideas of modern biology that a 5th grader would be able to comprehend.

    You display your ignorance and insist that it’s creative genius.

  141. I there is a misunderstanding, in part on my fumbling expression

    Unless/until I commence the great hike up the momentous mountain of genetics/biology all I can do, (and I do) take your word that there is little or no scientific evidence for Steiner’s racial ideas. As well I don’t doubt there is great evidence to suggest he is wrong or that such beliefs are defensible. Your article is the main cause of my interest in his racial ideas in the first place. I don’t engage here to convince anyone , but to allow myself to be convinced either way. I want beliefs tested thereby strengthening, or being destroyed with a swaying argument. Im more open than you think.

    It was dumb of me to bring up racial bias is inevitable and often negligible where science/truth is the great concern. I broke your rule of not ascribing intent.It’s a godo rule that avoids personalisation. Possibly my mistake provokeds you likewise break your rule where you uncharacterically assume I make claims of knowledge, evidence or genius, and suffer fragile feeling of racial superority.

    When you say “you people” Im not clear what people you refer to.

    “And I can understand why Steiner resonated with you.” is the corrected statement yes. I simply meant to stress racial ideas had nothing to do with my interest in him. Your article merely highlighted the part and parcel nature of them. So i had to delve further.

    My questions are genuine not rhetorical. ill repeat some of them here in case you ignored thme all because you mistakenly thought they were arrogantly rhetorical.
    “Essentialism – why shouldn’t there be inherent qualities to being human ? Isn’t essentialism not a settled philosophical question ? “ I’d argue Its’ not far-fretched, that humans are not mere clay and products for social molding.

    I expressed badly about evolution. I’ll rephrase :

    In “common layman expression & thought”, evolution is often considered an upward, generally linear progress towards “civilisation” or whatever. Why would the idea of a race being more evolved than another be offensively racist if it wasn’t inferring an evaluation. I struggle to see why a subjective/compartmentalized explanation of evolution I think you are suggesting that you proved to explain why societies cant be compared holds up, unless the societies remain forever separated and/or with no commonality of development common goal of higher purpose. Or perhaps i mistakenly assume you believe in a commonality of higher purpose, rather than that evolution just is with upward / downwards turns not evaluative in any useful or moral sense.

    The world was not flat before it was proven round despite the scientific fact accepted by all but “madmen” and the “ignorant.” Science is a history of mistakes. Even Hitler said “Science cannot lie, for it’s always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith.” I see devotion to science as a feat, but no great feat, and certainly not proof of moral aptitude.

    There is no hard the heart is prime mover of blood, as opposed ot a regualtor. Yet the model works.

    Besides maths, geometry and self-propagating closed thought systems it can at best say “insofar as we perceive and experience within the context of our models it from our obervations constently so.”

    Atheists mistakenly place of onus of proof on the theist demand proof of a visible God. It ti like on standing halfway on a steep mountain and demand one walk up to prove the gold is on top not underground.
    “The very definition of an inherited trait is that it is genetically transmitted.” So I’ve been exposed outside the box, but it highlights the possibilites. Definitions change. Are all transmission measurable ? Especially over time ? I don’t see why these aren’t valid questions ? And if they are considered so, then we are still much in the realm of theory. Not to say patters don’t highly suggest, but that the truth is not arrived at. Unless im mistaken you are writing as if things are settled.

    You can just as easily ask me where is my proof ? And you would be right to do so. But I’m not claiming knowledge or proof. I’m entirely admitting all the way, I mix personal observation of patterns, rational though, instinct and belief. you can ask “why should I believe at all?” That is another entire conversation. I feel i’ve gone full circle to my earlier statement that it only works in one’s own mind. if one believes. Steiner’s cant be part right on a lot of this stuff. It’s a house of cards. He is totally right or wrong.

    To say science has firmly grasped what went on in consistently in humanity over aeons based on recent observations, or that historical cognitive activity in humans is observable and measurable or that just seems to be to me an arrogant stretch of science. Does it really hold this to be self-evident ? Despite patterns, doesn’t it nonetheless fall into the realm still of theory ? (not rhetorical questions) . Even evolution itself likely evolves. It would also assume complete control of what is measurable.

    “If every individual living being that ever lived miraculously reappeared on the earth, there would be no recognisable species at all, just a vast continuum of types.” This is still within the domain of theory. Even Darwin relented his theories. But if true likely because there are no great leaps? Perhaps every formation must necessarily be “evolved through”. Distinctions Steiner suggests are largely concerning “soul” and orientation of “thinking”. Difficult to measure. When i wrote “ways of thinking” (again clumsy” I mean within the brain, maybe electrically /chemically.not in Anthropological sense.

    I dont claim anything genius in my questioning here, I;d say common sense and healthy cyncism at highest.

    Russians side-lined themselves with respect to evolutionary theory – so backwards on on, wrecking ability to think about it. Nobody tells the biota what is right or wrong. It does what is does. Biology can not help but offend politically correct sensibilities, and gets sidelined to allow other development. There is an idea that biology creates entities that have the potential for racism in them. That in our genomes we carry the potential fo racism for darwinian reasons. There is biological identity. It is not possible for male genes to gang up on female genes, but with race, (unfortunately if so) ,in a darwinian sense, one population can gang up on another. Its repeated in all the worst chapters in human history. In that case You want to understand that process. Is the genes objective is defensible rationally ? We should not blindly honour what our genes are up to. The we can move towards freedom. To ignore their racist potential allows it to continue.

    Perhaps biological facts get in way of “progress”. Biological essenitalism is dangerous as it easily deteriorates into eugenics, on the side of biological determinism

    It is written in Canadian law that there is no causal link connection between biological sex, gender identity or sexual proclivity. it is technically illegal in cases to make the factual biological claim otherwise.

  142. You have certainly dedicated a great deal of effort to understanding how the ideas of Anthroposophy square with the relevant sciences. The reason it’s so hard is because no other Anthroposophist has bothered to do even the most basic work on this matter.

    It would have been easier if Anthroposophists had followed Steiner’s wishes and published only his books and not all those transcripts of his lectures. He wanted Anthroposophists to develop their own spiritual perceptive abilities and do their own investigations into the spirit worlds.
    As you have also noticed, they did publish his lectures, and they didn’t do any of their own investigations. And that is why you are having to think on your feet and pull ideas out of thin air, instead of being able to refer me to 100 years of Anthroposophical research.

    You would take a lot of pressure off yourself, if you recognise this failure.

    I would be happy concede the possibility of spiritual influences on material world, and the possibility that these can be perceived (or even are perceived atavistically by children), and that it requires training to develop such perceptive abilities.

    But if anyone really believes this, I would expect them to try to do it. Those would be important skills to place at the service of humanity, wouldn’t they? (Steiner clearly thought he was doing exactly that.)

    But no one has done it. Steiner published his book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment in (I think) 1907. 113 years ago. Yet they have given sincere people like you absolutely no help in making the case that they claim is so obvious that it is only due to scientific dogmatism that it is rejected.
    No. It’s because instead of developing the perceptive abilities that they claim are real and of vital importance to humanity, they prefer instead to make the kind of idiotic and ignorant attacks on science that I quoted in the article.

    That’s all they’ve got. And that’s why you’re trying to rewrite the whole of modern science alone, claiming Anthroposophy has something better — all by yourself, with absolutely no support at all from them. And they claim to be the “leaders of human evolution”! It’s pathetic, and absurd and laughable. And, sadly, the ideas they pushed into your head are not only completely wrong but also a weird and stupid brand of 1800s white supremacy.
    No wonder you want to say it’s not like that. And no wonder you’re struggling. The entire Anthroposophical movement has left it up to you.

    As you know, Steiner believed that the etheric and astral worlds are simply higher levels of the material world, and that his perceptions of their actions and influences will *compliment* the raw data of the spiritual sciences. He said that if there is a conflict between the two, one of them must be wrong — either his perception, or in the data.

    Well, there is a conflict.

    And it could have been clear to Steiner had he been a bit more knowledgable of the science of his day, and a bit more skeptical about his own powers.
    And this conflict has only gotten worse in the nearly 100 years since his death. Anyone wanting to contribute this field would need to be keeping up with the science as well as developing their own abilities for spiritual perception and reporting back what they find. But no one is doing that. Instead, they are simply repeating Steiner said in private and didn’t want published, and claiming to have won the argument before it even started.
    And they get indignant when it’s pointed out to them these supposed spiritual perceptions of Steiner are identical with wrong and racist anthropological ideas from the 1800s. So either the spirit world is stuck in the 1800s or Steiner was mistaken.

    Steiner’s absurd, wrong and deeply racist racial theories are indeed a central pillar of Anthroposophy — regardless of whether or not people realise it. That is why Anthroposophists either doggedly defend it, or reject it and thereby begin questioning what else might be wrong. If Steiner was wrong about that, what else might be have been wrong about? It calls the whole of his “higher knowledge” into question.

    Why is it that no Anthroposophists have developed similar spiritual perceptions to those Steiner had? Why do so few even try?

    Until they do, Anthroposophists would be better off doing what you do here and admitting they have no evidence.

    But Anthroposophy should have evidence. It should be able to demonstrate the existence of etheric forces. They always claim they can do this, but they never quite get around to doing it. Or they point to others who have done it, but it always turns out to be fraudulent,

    Yet Anthroposophy is supposed to be the cutting edge of human knowledge.

    I’m not surprised you’re changing the subject and accusing others of making mistakes too. All of the great Spiritual Alphas in the Anthroposophical movement, the highest achievers in the history of the evolution human consciousness, have all bailed out left you to try to do it alone.

  143. […] in cima alla “gerarchia delle razze umane”: Rif. Psiram, Waldorf Critics, Spirituality is no excuse, e rapporti francesi sulle “sette […]

  144. Hi. I read your article with interest and then was about to contemplate crafting a response until I then went tp peruse the rather bulky back and forth commentaries. It was at this point that I realized you have your own fairly deep biases which are not warranted, but more importantly that a dialogue with you would be likely fruitless.

    I have involved myself with Steiner’s work for 45 years, having found it in my early 20s. His work is unique in its comprehensive range and depth. In fact I have found no other individual’s output which comes close to matching it. But more importantly, I have found his work to be deeply inspirational, truth-uncovering, and spiritually nutritious.

    I have never been a member of the AS although I have met and interacted with numerous “Anthroposophists”. I am an individual. In my experience, the great proportion of such people I have met wee also individuals. I have never known ‘Anthroposophists’ to speak with one voice, monolithically. If I did, I would consider them less anthroposophical, or less accomplished in having absorbed the spiritual life lessons which Steiner gave, in fact. So when you argue, often, that Anthroposophists always say this or do that, it makes me think your powers of observation are deformed. I have never once in my life confused Dornach or the Goetheanum, or leading Anrhoposophists, or the Society itself with what anthroposophy or spiritual science actually is. Real anthroposophists do not have anthroposophical beliefs. Instead, they study, work on themselves, and help one another and others in general, because they know this is a noble and right thing to do according to the times.

    I have read just about every lecture cycle and book written by Steiner, many many of them several times. I have read all the lecture cycles and letters which form the basis of racial controversy in the public arena, and have no problem saying in honesty: I have never encountered anything racist in anything Steiner put out. Whether the same is true for everyone who has even been associated with Anthroposophy is of course incredibly doubtful. If racism means having preconceived generalities about persons of certain nation-state or skin color, then I would confidently say that I have a very deliberate ideal to not be racist and to look towards the individual. This is not the same thing as saying that statistically certain nation-states or racial stocks display various measurable trends along certain dimensions. Culture and genetics do of course have some kind of meaning and implication. Spiritually, it would not be surprising if this were true also. In fact it would be surprising if not true.

    Steiner has said and stressed the importance about allegiance to nation-state and racial stock becoming less and less pervasive in the immediate future if humanity is to progress. Instead, natural affinities must more and more arise due to the harmony of one person’s thinking and being with the other. This clearly points to the dwindling significance of race and nationality as a true indicator of importance as mankind goes forward and evolves. More and more these things will be seen as backward. I hope you think this makes sense too.

  145. Thanks for your clearly worded and civil comment. As I have noted already in this (lengthy) comment thread, I am happy to find that most of the Anthroposophists who have commented here take criticism seriously and try to engage with it sincerely and clearly. You have confirmed that again.

    I will, however, pick out a few points.

    “I have never once in my life confused Dornach or the Goetheanum, or leading Anrhoposophists, or the Society itself with what anthroposophy or spiritual science actually is.”

    What exactly did I get wrong in my representation of Anthroposophy? Which ideas that I described here are not “what Anthroposophy actually is”?
    And related to that, why do you think you’ve got it right while I got it wrong? I based my claims on very clear statements by Steiner himself, and I don’t see how any of them could be revised or altered without hacking away a central pillar of Anthroposophy.

    “I have never encountered anything racist in anything Steiner put out.”

    You appear to be repeating the argument that I noted and tried to refute in the article: that if it’s true that black Africans are less “spiritually evolved” than white Europeans (etc), then it’s not racist to describe them as such. My argument is that this is not true. There is no spiritual hierarchy of “races”. You casn simply assert that there is, and that maybe you have seen it because maybe you can “read the Akashic Chronicle”, but I don’t think you have any good evidence that you can, and failing that, I don’t believe you. I don’t think either you or Steiner or anyone else has “higher” spiritual or clairvoyant perception or “knowledge”, because no one has ever displayed any decent evidence for it whatsoever. Or are you really going to claim Steiner could perceive Lemuria and Atlantis and all the further progression up to now with us superior white Europeans under the Archangel Michael?

    “statistically certain nation-states or racial stocks display various measurable trends along certain dimensions.”

    Unless you can give a few examples of exactly which “certain nation-states” and which “racial stocks” you are referring (with a definition of what on earth you mean by “racial stock”) you are just making stuff up…. Just making *racist* stuff up. In other words, stuff that is wrong, and racist as well.

    “Culture and genetics do of course have some kind of meaning and implication. Spiritually, it would not be surprising if this were true also.”

    I have no idea what you mean by “spiritually” in this context. What do you mean?

    You points about distinguishing what you call “races” from the individual is one I noted in the article. As I said, I don’t think Steiner was a racist by temperament, nor do I think you are. But I do think all this spiritual hierarchy stuff has no basis in reality, and is thus racist, because it’s wrong. As I noted, Steiner would have said that a particular black person might be more spiritually advanced than a particular white person, and this advanced state will finally be displayed when he gets reincarnated — as a white.

    But reincarnation is just a belief without any decent evidence for it whatsoever. And, as I keep stressing, the idea of this spiritual hierarchy has no connection to reality, nor are “higher” perceptive powers real.

    I don’t mind people speculating about this kind of stuff, but I do think they should steer well clear of issues like race and racism.

Comments welcome, but please try to address the issues raised in the article!

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