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 Peter":

[Peter Staudenmaier:]

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 amusing results.

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 allows.

[Peter Staudenmaier:]

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 writings.

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 cult.

[Peter Staudenmaier:]

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 a historian.

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 beliefs.

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 right:


"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."

[Peter Staudenmaier:]
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.

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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