The Scholar Teaches Class.....

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Dec 13, 2003 7:59 am
Subject: the scholar teaches class.....

Last week, Walden and Staudenmaier were discussing a message of mine to this list on PLANS' list, in a thread entitled "talking about us:

Re: talking about us
Peter Staudenmaier
Dec 07, 2003 11:06 PST

Hi again Walden, you wrote in your other posts:

"Why would Tarjei say something that is factually incorrect? I have been reading this list for a couple of years now and I have not heard Peter always insist that anthroposophy is a fascist right wing ideology. Nor have I heard anthroposophists characterized as such. The anthroposophists I know personally are definitely NOT right of centre."

I think the problem here is mixing up specifc statements with general statements. When I write that many German, Swiss, and Austrian anthroposophists in the 1920's and 1930's shared a number of right-wing beliefs, some latter-day anthroposophists think I am saying that all anthroposophists everywhere and at all times have been rightwingers. While there are certainly right-wing anthroposophists today, including a number of neo-fascist anthroposophists (mostly followers of Werner Haverbeck, the most important post-war far-right anthroposophist), it appears that most contemporary anthroposophists in the contexts that I know well, including Germany and the United States, are more or less liberal or left-leaning.

Staudenmaier is subtle. I did some checking, including the exchanges I had with him on the WC in June-August 2001, and he has not spelled out that anthroposophists are generally right wingers. I did confront him with statistics in 2001, however, showing that the voting record among Norwegian anthroposophists is overwhelmingly left wing. To the best of my recollection, Peter Staudenmaier and Peter Zegers disputed this on the ground that they did not have access to verification, and Peter S. argued against the relevance of statistics.

But there are obviously anthroposophical fascists and right wingers. I was recently confronted with this on Starman's list, where I was even denied freedom of speech because politics is declared off-topic. But Starman and some of his sidekicks did express some disturbingly hawkish views and made it clear that liberal and left wing are dirty words. And Starman's major argument to make aggressive militarism compatible with anthroposophy is extremely foggy: He argues that because Steiner endorsed the Baghavad Gita (which is supposedly pro-Pentagon?), he must have favored war. (I wonder what Gandhi would have made of this bullshit.)

Peter Staudenmaier openly claims to be a historian:

"I experience this a lot, especially with other historians."

Someone ought to call this pompous bluff of his. No historian practices libellous propaganda with an agenda to destroy a movement. And where are the history books he has written?

Staudenmaier ponders:

I stumbled on something today which lit a light bulb here at Walden Pond. This one sentence by Tarjei from his web site (who is monitoring this list) might well be the missing link I so very much wanted to find. Here's the deal: One person views history as, well... history in the mainstream sense
while the other views it as occultism. Tarjei, from his site:

"...I told Peter Staudenmaier that the roots of anthroposophy are to be found in the spiritual world, and that in order to understand this properly, an occult conception of historical events must be taken into consideration."

Yes, that is one of several factors that make it virtually impossible for anthroposophists who share this view to understand what I write about their movement.

On the contrary: This is one of several factors that make it so much easiere for anthroposophists to recognize the utter falsehood of Staudenmaier's outrageous allegations. The history of ideas must be seen in the light of ideas, and spiritual impulses must be viewed in the context of spiritual influences. If such ideas and influences are assumed to be illusions arising from chemical processes in the brain, hallucinations and the like, and spiritual history is nothing but anthro-babble and gibberish, a charletan playing "historian" will be staring at an empty void.

Staudenmaier continues:

"There is no such thing as "an occult conception of historical events", and
even if there were, historians would be obligated to disregard it as
incompatible with scholarly methods."

A subjective opinion presented as an objective fact.

"The most capable scholarly analysts of occult movements, from
Goodrick-Clarke to Webb to Godwin to Gardell, carefully avoid taking
occultist narratives at face value, particularly regarding historical

No wonder Staudenmaier was so ill at ease about me having read Goodrick-Clarke and Webb when researching my 1996 article about Nazi-occultism that he claimed later (long after I had unsubscribed from the WC for the last time) that I was lying about having read Goodrick-Clarke! This is what I commented on my website at which Peter S. is referring to. My original WC post about the occult history of anthroposophy can be picked up at

And here comes a beauty from Peter S:

"I take it then, that facts, dates, etc. are of little importance when history is studied with an "occult conception of historical events.""

Facts and dates are of utmost importance in occult history, but the spiritual events behind such external phenomena are added. This shows where Staudenmaier's homework needs some improvement.

Tarjei Straume

"The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Mixed Opinions and Maxims


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