Staudenmaier about the Cult of Peter
From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:06 pm
Subject: Staudenmaier about the Cult of Peter
Peter S ruminates about the "Cult of
I think the Cult of Peter
idea emerged when there were three Peters active on this list
-- Peter Farrell, Peter Zegers, and me. In fact one of the originators
of the Cult of Peter idea (she may even have coined the term)
consistently got me and Peter Zegers mixed up, often with very
Anyone checking the public WC archives will
discover that Dottie was referring specifically to the uncritical
praise and support of Peter Staudenmaier's posts when she said
there was a "Cult of Peter" at work on that list. In
his customary deceptive ways, Peter S. is trying to use another
instance when Dottie got Peter Zegers and Peter Staudenmaier
confused in connection with a message from one of them to distort
this for some reason.
The Cult of Peter is only a subcult in the
PLANS-WC cult, however, just like the Cult of Sharon, which is
reminiscent of the Cult of "Inquire Within" from the
1930's that I will get back to when and if time and opportunity
The oddest part is that
the PLANS folks, as far as I can tell, had reached their own
conclusions about anthroposophy long before I joined the list,
and before I began publishing on the topic, based on their own
experience with anthroposophical institutions and anthroposophical
The PLANS-WC cult was certainly in operation
with DD as high priest before the arrival of Peter S. His arrival,
however, meant that the cult had acquired an Oracle for the High
Priest. That was how the Cult of Peter arose within the PLANS-WC
My work focuses on anthroposophy's
history, after all, not on Waldorf education as such.
Peter S. should not neglect to mention that
he has publically admitted on the WC list that he is not
a historian. In spite of this, he has been hard at work creating
the impression in the minds of his readers that he is indeed
The Cult of Peter idea
also ignores all those areas that Diana, Dan, Sharon, Lisa, Walden,
etc etc know considerably better than this Peter does (which
is quite a bit of the substance of this list), and furthermore
overlooks all the topics on which various critics disagree.
The Cult of Peter idea does not ignore the
presence of other subcults within the mother cult.
To an extent, I think the
whole idea boils down to the undeserved credit that is all too
often given to pointy-headed intellectuals like me, as well as
to the intense antipathy toward critical thought that is so widespread
in anthroposophical circles.
Watch out, now he is beginning to brag about
himself under the disguise of modesty.
In any case, I think that
what this theme points to is that movements and worldviews that
are relatively far from the mainstream often get extremely protective
when outside analysts decide to study their doctrines and traditions.
This certainly happens among anarchists, a far-from-the-mainstream
tendency that I belong to, and it seems likely to me that something
similar is the case with anthroposophists. Since they already
feel misunderstood by the rest of the world, they don't always
take kindly to close scrutiny from those who do not share their
Bradford recently wrote an excellent post
about doublethink and newspeak. And here we go: Slander, lies,
and malignant smear campaigns are called "close scrutiny."
I think Walden got it exactly
"As for the insults
and ad hominems - it seems to go with the territory. Seems some
folks get downright ornery and feel personally attacked when
their (or Steiner's) ideas are questioned."
From an anthroposophical perspective, external criticism of Steiner's
teachings does indeed count as sacrilege and blasphemy. Furthermore,
many anthroposophists can't figure out why an non-anthroposophist
would study their worldview in the first place. Hence the extraordinary
difficulties involved in trying to talk with anthroposophists.
Staudenmaier's idea of "talking with
anthroposophists" boils down to endeavoring to persuade
them to his own point of view, that the spiritual beliefs are
whacky, that Rudolf Steiner was a nut or a liar, that anthroposophists
are duped morons, that the entire concept of racial evolution
is racist to the core; - in other words, that the Anthroposophical
Movement is rotten and whacky to the core, and that its origin
stems from the voelkisch ideas of national socialism in Germany.
Yes, anyone could wonder why it is so extraordinarily
difficult to get anthroposophists to admit these things.
Critics, and Controversy
"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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