Cult Victim Needing Help
On January 26 1999, I decided to subscribe to Dan Dugan's Waldorf Critics List which is featured on the PLANS website. Judging from the content of this website, which is dedicated not only to criticism of Waldorf education, classroom activities, curriculum and so on, but to the brown-baiting nazification of Rudolf Steiner and the portrayal of the anthroposophical movement as a brainwashing cult, I decided to introduce myself as a cult victim asking for help. One of the critics accused me later of having crashed the party under false pretenses by pretending to be something I wasn't, but I disagree. Judge for yourselves:
Dear fellow subscribers,
I wonder if someone may be able to tell me where to get the help I need to get out of the Steiner-cult. To begin with, I would like to talk to an exit counsellor and then seek therapy. I don't know if there are such exit counsellors here in Norway, so I was hoping with this post to be directed to one in my area.
I have been a victim of the Steiner-cult for a very long time - since childhood. When I now want to get out at age fifty, a deprogrammer may be called for, but I don't know how to locate one, and I'm very afraid of the whole thing.
In the late 1950's, my mother was was exposed to Anthroposophy by the religious aspect of it by starting off with "Theosophy." She also applied it in her artistic work, first as an actress, later as a music teacher. Through her influence I was exposed to all kinds of tales about Lucifer and Ahriman and life after death as a child, and at age 15 or 16 I began to read the books off my mother's shelves. The first one was "Cosmic Memory" about our Atlantean and Lemurian ancestors. It bridged the gap for me between Darwin and the Bible - a riddle I had subconsciously pondered - and got me hooked. And before I knew it, I was reading Steiner around the clock about every topic from the spiritual properties of sugar to elves and gnomes and Egyptian mysteries, and when I was 18, I had read "Occult Science," "Christianity as Mystical Fact," and "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds."
What I did not realize of course, was that my mother and Rudolf Steiner had molded my view of reality in a coercive way. During the years to come, my anthroposophical reading habits were rare, occasional, and sporadic while I tested out other religions, world views, and philosophies. In the late 1980's when I was living in Texas, I purchased a whole library of Steiner and entered another period of extensive reading. I even joined the Anthroposophical Society for a while and participated regularly in a local study group. I had "returned" to Steiner after many years as the only spiritual teacher I found trustworthy, feeling that all the others had let me down at some point. Now I recognize how dangerous and deceptive it is to think like that!
Rudolf Steiner's spiritual ideas about evolution and cosmos are constantly presenting themselves to me when I meditate or ruminate about life. Does anyone familiar with therapeutic medicine know about a safe cure? I am worried about being cured also - which I understand is a common reaction among long time cult victims who are beginning to wake up. I am confused, because I don't know if deprogrammers and therapists would want me to embrace atheism, which has somehow never worked for me before, or if it's ok to become a Baptist or a Roman Catholic or something. The problem I have with these religions is that I cannot accept the literal Immaculate Conception and other irrationalities that I found (to me) acceptable explanations for in the Cult of Anthroposophy. Maybe the best thing for me is to denounce Christianity altogether?
If I succeed in mustering enough courage to take the big step away from this cult, I also need som advice from people with the same experience. How do I handle anthroposophists who might want to persuade and coerce me back into the nightmare? What if they start a harassment campaign against me - I know for a fact that most ex-cultists who have exited (or fled) are subjected to all kinds of abuses. Should I explain the situation to the police before taking the drastic step?
And then there are the children. It is always the children who suffer most from civil wars and cults and all other calamities that we adults bring into this world. I have a nine year old son in a different city. He attends Waldorf school there and lives with his mother, who is a totally brainwashed anthroposophist with the entire Steiner-library in the original German! She's nuts I tell you, and beyond hope. She'll probably die in the cult just like my mother did. Anyway, she has full custody of our son, so I guess I'll never get him out of Waldorf. But perhaps some of my fellow subscribers may advise me about the deprogramming of children. Because If I don't get out of this, but die in the cult like my mother, and my son does the same as his parents, I despair for the hope of the world.
(To read the entire thread resulting from this post, click on the first link below.)
The Cult Victim Thread
Tarjei's "WC files"
The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files
Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy
Uncle Taz Home Page 2
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