Thursday, September 6, 2012

Foreword to the Fifth Edition – Introducing The Kardeiz Saga to Recall The Anthroposophical Society (2001)

Since the last (fourth) edition of this social esthetic study on the threefold social organic nature of the statutes of the Anthroposophical Society was printed and presented (in July 1999 during the Goetheanum, Social Science Section conference in New Lebanon, NY), two members of the Anthroposophical Society have been elected to the Council of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach, namely Bodo von Plato and Sergej Prokofieff. [1] Nominated as such by the Council, their election had to be, and was, officially endorsed by a vote of the General Assembly (General Meeting) of the General Anthroposophical Society on April 8 this year at the Goetheanum.[2] During this Meeting, I attempted to present a motion on the intricate, but absolutely fundamental modalities of this election in order to lay bare and bring to the fore not only the root of the so-called constitutional crisis of the (General) Anthroposophical Society, but also to offer a general solution to it.[3] While his motion was printed in its entirety (along with the other 11 motions and 4 requests) in the German issue of the Goetheanum News for members; the motion itself, however was – together with practically all the other 15 motions and requests – not discussed and dealt with at all.[4] The General Assembly voted to simply do away with them on the basis of formal points of order entered by a certain obstinate Swiss member, which were given top priority by the leader of the assembly, Paul Mackay.[5] The only motion that was properly dealt with – a draconic proposal by Rembert Biemond to drastically increase the hurdles for raising a motion, in the sense that either a Council member had to, so to speak, sanctify it or that the motion be supported by two percent of all the members, i.e. some 1000 today – was (fortunately) rejected by the General Assembly. Instead, a proposal put forward by the quixotic Ulrich Hölder was accepted, namely to postpone a decision on this issue for a year and in the meantime hold a conference, preferably at the Goetheanum, on this very constitutional question of raising and dealing with motions – a right that, by the way, is guaranteed in paragraph 10 of the principles to individual members or groups of the Anthroposophical Society.[6] This fundamental right of members is shown by Herbert Witzenmann in this essay, indeed in this whole Social Esthetic Series,[7] to be a cornerstone or bridgehead for achieving a balance between, on the one hand, initiatives coming from the Council (the center) – as an initiative Council it has not only the right, but the duty to unfold initiatives – and, on the other hand, motions raised by members (the periphery) as they see fit, i.e. not as a duty but in freedom.

Before leaving the Jüngel report for what it is and moving on to a more general contemplation on the sad, sick or even sinister state of affairs within, or rather outside, the so-called Anthroposophical Society[8] and to a proposal for a healing resolution through the Kardeiz Saga, one glaring, inexcusable omission that this report contains must be corrected.[9] One will after reading this correction indeed be hard put to maintain that there is no ban, or at least a self imposed censure, on diverging opinions in ‘our Society’ (which one?), and that the so-called book question concerning the proper publication and defense policy with respect to the (esoteric) work of Rudolf Steiner has in reality been solved.
The omission in the Jüngel report concerned a request of mine at the said AGM that dealt with the question as to whether this General Assembly should or could assume the responsibility for the final report of the Dutch Commission on Anthroposophy and the Question of Race that was presented as a formal publication of the Dutch Society on April 1, 2000 (in the morning) to members of the Anthroposophical Society in Holland and (in the afternoon) to the media in a (closed) press conference.  My request was entitled “The Evidence Has Been Given – Rudolf Steiner Was Not A Good Man”, which referred to the title of an article with which on April 19, 2000 the Dutch leftist liberal weekly journal De Groene Amsterdammer had made huge headlines (and sales). This article by R. Zwaap consisted of nothing more than a translation into Dutch of the 16 so-called discriminating passages from the work of Rudolf Steiner, accompanied by excerpts from the commentary of the Commission of anthroposophists explaining why it would be a violation of Dutch criminal law on anti-discrimination to bring these 16 passages forward in public today as one’s own opinion. The request was nothing less than an urgent appeal to the General Assembly “to decide not to regard the final report of the Dutch Commission without ado [i.e. not without the necessary changes] as a publication of the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands.”[10] I was able to hand out 200 copies of the two pages long motivation to various members present [11] and – in spite of the usual attempts to cut me off and hurry me up – was able to read the text out loud word for word. I quoted the exact words (in translation) of the Amsterdam Judge R. Orobio de Castro from his verdict on May 31, 2000 in the legal proceedings that the Dutch Council had entered last year against De Groene Amsterdammer accusing it of dishonoring the good name of Rudolf Steiner and that of the Anthroposophical Society. However, as we had already suspected and warned, the judge threw the case out of court on the basis of free speech. His verdict read, in part and in my translation, as follows:

“First of all, it must be said that we are not dealing with a review of the final report, but with an article in which apparently with regard to this report an opinion is given concerning remarks by Rudolf Steiner about different races. Zwaap [the journalist in question] has thereby chosen to publish the passages – which also the commission in its report has indicated to be of a discriminatory nature – without any commentary of his own and only accompanied with – abbreviated – conclusions of the commission pertaining to these passages, whereby the reader himself can make a judgment about them. Zwaap is apparently of the opinion that the contents of these passages conjures up such a negative image of Rudolf Steiner’s opinion about human races that no amount of fine distinctions can wipe away these discriminating opinions.
   Furthermore, it must be judged that Zwaap is in principle justified to express this socially relevant opinion and that this could only be otherwise, if there were very substantial interests of the [Anthroposophical] Society involved in the form of a violation of her honor and good name that would offset this. But this is not the case. It is true that the honor and good name of the [Anthroposophical] Society is at stake here, yet it is not in the first instance the publication by Zwaap that is responsible for this, but in essence the various passages from the work by Rudolf Steiner himself. The honor and good name of the [Anthroposophical] Society have after all been questioned just because of the contents of these passages and the commission was formed in order to do research and give a judgment about this. Zwaap makes according to the above-described method a judgment, which it is in his freedom to do. The method that he used cannot be said to be unnecessarily injurious in view of the gist of the publication mentioned that the passages quoted according to his opinion cannot be whitewashed.” [12]

I then went on to substantiate my request by saying that the first conclusion of the final report was negative and should be turned into a positive one. Instead of concluding that “Rudolf Steiner was not a racist”, the conclusion should be that Rudolf Steiner developed his anthroposophy to overcome all forms of racism in the world. With respect to the second main, politically correct, conclusion that “there are in Rudolf Steiner’s work 16 passages that are of a such a seriously discriminatory nature, that if someone were to make such a similar claim or formulation today, he or she would probably be guilty of a punishable offence”, I maintained that the commission has not really judicially tested these 16 passages on the basis of Dutch criminal law; has not in the least proven that anyone or any minority has in effect suffered any setbacks or drawbacks on account of the so-called discriminatory  passages and that therefore the premature and unnecessary assumption by the commission that some hypothetical person repeating those ‘tainted’ remarks by Rudolf Steiner as his own opinion would be found guilty was a violation of Dutch jurisprudence, which always makes a judgment with respect to particular cases as to context, content and presentation. This second conclusion is furthermore, so I argued, an infringement on free speech and by, as it were, forbidding anyone to repeat certain remarks the commission sets Dutch jurisprudence back to the Middle Ages. And finally, the commission acting as a self-styled tribunal playing judge and prosecutor at the same time has, although it strongly denied this, in effect found Rudolf Steiner guilty, not retroactively, but by bringing him from the past into the present.
How can the General Assembly, did I ask, tolerate that a final report of this nature be issued as a publication of the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands, which according to the principles is a local group of the Society and therefore responsible to the general Society? 
Yet, as already indicated, a motion was passed under the leadership of Paul Mackay to not even consider and thus simply discuss this request.[13]

At the beginning of this badly needed, but by no means exhaustively rounded off and substantiated correction, it was maintained that it would serve to realize that the so-called book question was not solved, and that in effect not only the annotation of the School is no longer printed in the esoteric and professional courses by Rudolf Steiner, but that his guidelines on how to deal with unfounded and biased criticism coming from amateurs is not observed either. For those who consider themselves responsible for the work of Rudolf Steiner do not enter into discussion with them, but make it clear to the outside world how and in what way those amateurs are lacking the necessary training in order to make a qualified judgment on this work. This is not arrogant or discourteous, but, as Rudolf Steiner pointed out, perfectly normal in the scientific world.[14] As a corollary, the ones responsible, i.e. the School should offer those wanting to be able make such judgments a schooling to develop this spiritual discernment; and this is exactly what this essay, as indeed the whole work of Herbert Witzenmann is eminently capable of.

The preceding objective polemics, which pertain solely to actions and states of consciousness on the part of officials of a public society and not to the persons themselves, were necessary to give an impression of how far the separation of Rudolf Steiner from his work – something which he repeatedly warned against [15]– has under various guises proceeded. For after all, the principles are not only a work of Rudolf Steiner himself, but also of the Christmas Conference founding assembly in 1923, which after three days of deliberations endorsed them (with minor changes in the text suggested by, among others, Carl Unger). The principles can therefore be seen as a truly unique work of Rudolf Steiner and the Anthroposophical Society, which as a founding document similar to the Constitution of the United States should be respected for what it is, continually brought to further realization and never be altered, but as we shall see, only amended.[16] Downgrading their importance, paying lip service to them and placing them in the shadow of the Foundation Stone Meditation, as so often is the case,[17] in the trend of ‘Anthroposophy: yes; Rudolf Steiner: no’ can certainly not be said to be in the true interests of the anthroposophical movement or Anthroposophia, quite the contrary. [18]
We now finally turn to the root question of the constitutional issue, already referred to here and in the previous forewords. For however important this question of motions or the book question is or may turn out to be, they are overshadowed by a question that first has to be formulated, understood and solved before anything else; for this is much more than ‘simply’ a legal, constitutional or historical issue, but an existential question concerning the very identity and (future) state of the Anthroposophical Society.
This is the question as to the real identity of, on the one hand, the (general) Anthroposophical Society founded during the Christmas Conference 1923, a non-commercial society based legally and spiritually on the principles (formerly called statutes) and the Foundations Stone mantras, as distinct from, on the other hand, the General Anthroposophical Society. The latter is an administrative and economic body that came into being during an extra-ordinary meeting of the Goetheanum Building Association on February 8, 1925 during which this association changed its name to General Anthroposophical Society and at the same time enlarged with the administration of the Anthroposophical Society, the Philosophic-Anthroposophic Press, founded and run by Marie Steiner and the Clinic, founded and led by Ita Wegman.
After years of denial and disbelief it is now at least generally agreed by all parties involved in the constitutional debate that the Anthroposophical Society and the General Anthroposophical Society, although sharing the same Council, were indeed two distinct social bodies with separate, albeit related, functions and statutes. But alas, were and not are two different entities, for here the agreement ends.[19]  One side sees the Anthroposophical Society – even though since the Christmas foundation it has never held a proper General Meeting and even though since the death of the last member of the original Council Albert Steffen died (in 1963) it no longer has any duly elected Council members – as still existing, because it was after all never officially dissolved.  The other side maintained, or still maintains, that the two distinct bodies have been regarded and treated so long as one and the same that by force of habit or “Merger through Conclusive Conduct” they have in the course of some 75 years become one and the same.
This latter legal term requires some explanation and commentary. As can be read in the article on the Constitution of the General Anthroposophical Society in News for MembersDecember 1999 and in a Member’s Update – May 2000 signed by Paul Mackay, this term was introduced by Professor H.M. Riemer (Professor of Civil Law at Zürich), who is not a (class) member and, as such, apparently not aware of the deeper, spiritual issues involved in this matter. This is shown by his recommendations, which are simply described as facts instead of (legal and nominalistic) interpretations, and which – instead of liberating or dissolving the ‘Alloy King’ reigning over the existing as-if situation, would, if acted upon, actually officially sanctify and crown him! [20]
Consider the following points: First of all, the term “Merger through Conclusive Conduct” is not applicable here, because this term requires a conscious, legal decision and vote on the part of the two merging bodies which was never the case here on December 29, 1925, during which the unconscious “merger” took place, but this is not mentioned at all in the Reimer report. Secondly and more importantly, in the event of such a merger one of the two bodies ceases to exist, dissolves and disappears as it were into the other one; meaning in this case that the Anthroposophical Society as such would have ceased to exist. This is explicitly stated in point 3 of Reimer’s Legal Opinion, dated March 9, 2000: “An association that for 75 years (= ¾ century!) has neither been treated as such by the people concerned nor has appeared externally as such, can and may no longer be considered as an independent association.” In the next point he somewhat contradicts himself by ending: “These considerations do not rule out that the culture of the Christmas Conference Society has become the dominating culture of the GAS.”[21] Yet, as can be read in the Byelaws of the General Anthroposophical Society, this association has a sub-division, namely the administration of the Anthroposophical Society. And, we repeat, it was this society under the legal name Anthroposophical Society that was founded during the Christmas Conference 1923-24 and not the General Anthroposophical Society, as point 1 of the Riemer Report states, a statement which was changed in the Member’s Update to: “The Christmas Conference Society was founded” which is also incorrect since that was not the name by which this society was founded.  Here it is not a question of names, of nominalism, but of real concepts, identities. Thirdly, the third point that Prof. Riemer makes that ever since February 8, 1925 “the General Meetings have been conducted as one” is not true either, because immediately prior to the General Meeting of the General Anthroposophical Society and the ‘merger’ on December 29, 1925 there was a (final) meeting of the Anthroposophical Society. Conclusion: the argument that the members have for 76 years been unaware of the essential distinction between the two social bodies, have so to speak been sleepwalking all this time, is no reason to continue this as-if situation and even legalize it! For a bad habit or conduct can, if shown to be faulty, be changed no matter how difficult or long this may take. Yet this requires some serious, even painful soul-searching.

This is where my motion on the election of the two new Council members as the first act of the Kardeiz Saga, a real-life mystery play in three acts with literally a cast of thousands, comes in. This motion, co-signed by Leo van Egeraat (who supplied valuable suggestions to the text), Ben van Tilborg and Jan Bloem on the nomination of the two candidates for the executive-board of the GAS dealt with the question of the legitimate sovereignty of the General Assembly itself and was sent to the Council in Dornach on February 9th, 2001. The first act of this Saga was given the title "Dismantling the Alloy King", whereby in this instance the Alloy King is used in the sense of the fourth King in Goethe's fairy tale about the Beautiful Lily and the Green Snake to refer to the confused, paralyzing even illegitimate state of affairs concerning the identity of the Anthroposophical Society and that of the General Anthroposophical Society and their relationship, which has been the subject of a heated and long-drawn debate in Europe and to a much lesser extent, it seems, in America. The name Kardeiz for this on-going saga was chosen on the basis of a recent indication by Konrad Degand from Witten, Germany and seems an appropriate title for this attempt at writing and staging a real-ideal communal mystery play with a final act to take place on and a around  the historic Bluthügel (Bloody Hill) in Dornach on which the second Goetheanum still stands. For Kardeiz, as can be read towards the end of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, was the second son of Parzival, who was brought up by his uncle Master Kyot (next to his twin brother Lohengrin) and who, as the heir to his father's secular domains, was given the task of ultimately reclaiming the lands rightfully belonging to him that were occupied by the usurper Lahelin, a task in which, after he was crowned king, Kardeiz succeeded admirably.

The Kardeiz Saga not only raised the Parzival question "Uncle, what ails or confuses thee?" (the German word here is wirren, to confuse) with respect to the pathetic and unbearable Kaspar-Hauser-like situation [22] in Dornach, in an attempt to redeem Anfortas (the culturally paralyzed Anthroposophical Society). It also calls for a consciousness-raising campaign to reclaim and unite the word-wide anthroposophical institutions, banks, schools and firms under the banner of the General Anthroposophical Society as a "multi-national and multi-cultural association" to serve the more earthly (economic) needs of mankind on earth with as its core, its center of research and development, the Goetheanum, School for Spiritual Science and its branches around the world.[23]

A first step in this direction could be made by consolidating the institutions around the Goetheanum in Dornach which each went their own separate way after the public coronation of the Alloy King in 1925.  For that was when the present Kaspar-Hauser-like situation came about as, under the eyes of hundreds of well-meaning and non-suspecting anthroposophists and local officials, one social body (the AS) was, as it were, snatched away and replaced by another almost similarly looking and sounding one (the GAS).  

In this sense the (rejected) motion at hand could be seen as the first chapter of an on-going Kardeiz saga to spiritually review, recall and re-establish or renew the Anthroposophical Society and in the wake of that establish the proper world-wide relationship to the General Anthroposophical Society  by means of the new royal art of social organics developed by one of Rudolf Steiner's greatest aides: Herbert Witzenmann. The motion was printed in full in the Goetheanum Weekly for members (Nachrichtenblatt, nr 9/2001, dated Feb. 25) along with the other 16 motions and requests, and reads (in my translation and title):

Act I of the Kardeiz Saga: Dismantling the Alloy King

Motion Nr 9 on the Additions to the Executive Council:

The General Assembly of the administrative association General Anthroposophical Society being held on April 7th and 8th, 2001 at the Goetheanum, Dornach is asked to finally terminate the present as-if-situation with respect to its identity, function and competence, that has in effect existed since 1925, by deciding, after sufficient deliberation and discussion, out of self-knowledge, that:
1. The General Assembly 2001 of the administrative association General Anthroposophical Society can duly confirm the two nominated candidates Bodo von Plato and Sergej Prokofieff as members of the executive-board of this association;
2. However, the members of the Anthroposophical Society from all over the world who have been invited to attend this General Assembly cannot really actively participate in this election, since as members of the Anthroposophical Society refounded during the Christmas Conference 1923 they are in fact not eligible to vote in matters pertaining to the administrative association General Anthroposophical Society. Only the present executive council has the right to cast its vote in this case;
3. The nomination of the candidates as members of the executive-council of the Anthroposophical Society of the Christmas Foundation, on the contrary, cannot be confirmed by this General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society without further ado, since this can only occur in a proper and legal fashion by means of a General Meeting, or an extra-ordinary General Assembly of the Anthroposophical Society.

Following the motivation there appeared this note (not printed in the Goetheanum):

To the Reader,

In case you want to support this motion, please make this known to the Willehalm Institute and indicate if you are or were a member of the Anthroposophical Society (membership card nr.), or if you want to be viewed as such. We will pass this on to the proper address, i.e. the administration of the Anthroposophical Society in Dornach. If you would like to have your card signed by a president of the Anthroposophical Society, we assume that you want to get engaged in the sense of the motion to hold the first extra-ordinary General Assembly ever of the Anthroposophical Society. With that we can, with the help of the present council in Dornach, begin a "Christmas Conference Continuation Project" (At the time of this writing, the name Kardeiz Saga for this project had not been coined yet.)

Now, as already noted, the motion was dispensed with by members (or in this case, rather one particular Swiss stalwart, with the full consent and cooperation of the Council). Each time a counter motion was entered not to handle the motion at hand at all. This proved to be a largely successful (political) ploy to not have to deal at all with the issues raised by the various motions. One moot point was that the above motion dealing with the election of two new members to the Council was dealt with together with the other motions, and not, as it should have been under normal conditions, at the actual agenda point set aside for the endorsement procedure. A (personal) request to this effect (to Paul Mackay) was denied, and not raised by me publicly afterwards, and so it happened that the election of Bodo von Plato and Sergej Prokofieff took place without any critical discussion as to its historic, legal and spiritual context. Act I of the Kardeiz Saga was a failure: the Alloy King was not dismantled and remains in power. How long?

Act II of the Kardeiz Saga

Preparing the Review, Recall and Renewal of the Anthroposophical Society

This second, central act will obviously demand – depending on the cooperation that the Council of the General Anthroposophical Society (that can be regarded here as a provisionary Council of the Anthroposophical Society) and the various national Societies in the world are willing to give – the most time and energy. For here we are dealing with nothing less than the raising of a legion of some 10.000 members (the by Swiss association law required quorum of 1/5 of the present total) or members-to-be, who want to sign a petition in order to call and hold for the first time since 1923 an extra-ordinary General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society. The purpose of this meeting would be to change the principles of the Anthroposophical Society back to statutes (again) with a few necessary amendments [24] and to describe the situation such as it has developed from 1924 to the present and also stating who the new Council is to be.
However, Paul Mackay in his address Dear Members regarding the constitution of the General Anthroposophical Society in Members’ Update – May 2000 and basing himself on the authority of Prof. Riemer seems to rule this procedure out: “To my question whether there might be any other, better way of connecting to the Christmas Conference Society in a legal sense, Professor Riemer responded that there is not. In particular a novation [25] or anything similar, which applies to contract law and not to association law, does not come into consideration. Neither would it be a solution to call a member’s meeting at which the participants would state that they are the member’s meeting of the Christmas Conference Society. According to association law, this would be seen as founding a new association. It could not be a renewal of the Christmas Conference.” Mackay and Reimer seem to overlook the obvious fact that the members would not simply out of the blue call such a meeting and they would certainly not call themselves members of the Christmas Conference Society, because such a society or association has never existed. As I have stated before, and as every member can check for himself – except in Austria and Holland where this has recently been altered without good cause – we are all simply members of the Anthroposophical Society, including the Council.
Therefore, ideally in fruitful cooperation with the existing Constitution working group and the provisionary Council of the Anthroposophical Society (being the head of the Administration of the Anthroposophical Society) and the necessary advisors, the road lies wide open and clear to further work out, write and rehearse a script for the Kardeiz Saga. Then, after a common consciousness, a concordance in awareness, has been reached concerning the fundamentals of the Anthroposophical Society, the School for Spiritual Science and its allied administrative and economic associations around the world in the form of a constitution with amendments to the principles, and a quorum has been gathered, it is time to proceed to the grand finale.

Act III of the Kardeiz Saga

The Re-invocation of the Being Anthroposophia from the Cosmos

The Goetheanum is built on the historical Bloodhill (Bluthügel) in Dornach, where in 1499 a decisive battle for the freedom of the young Swiss Confederation was fought against the imperial Austrian Hapsburgers, allied to the Church of Rome, and where back in the 9th century, under the star of Munsalvaesche, in the nearby Arlesheim Hermitage a new spiritual impulse in humanity on Christian soil was brought about. “A greater marvel never occurred”, according to Trevrizent, “That with your defiance you have wrung the concession from God that his everlasting Trinity has granted you your wish [to become Grail King]” [26] Parzival had overcome the bloodline, the heredity principle and transformed it in the spiritual, karmic principle. Accordingly, his first son Lohengrin was not to be asked where he came from, what his (high) family background was; he was to be judged only on his own merits. Alas, Alice of Brabant could unfortunately not withstand her curiosity and did ask the fatal question, whereupon Lohengrin had to depart. And hence until this very day, the power and station of the old royalty and aristocracy based on the bloodline, the heredity principle has not been overcome by the spiritual karmic principle, and so Europe was saddled, and partly still is, with old-style monarchies and kings for centuries. However, the institution of the Grail monarchy is long overdue.
Much less known is the destiny of Parzival’s second son Kardeiz. As already mentioned, Kardeiz in his youth was crowned king and received the task from his father to reclaim the kingdoms that were usurped by Lahelin, a mission in which, after he had been educated and reared by his uncle Kyot, he succeeded.[27]
Representing Parzival during the last General Meeting in Dornach, we directed in Act I of the Kardeiz Saga the question/motion to the sick Fisher King Anfortas (the lamed Anthroposophical Society, and overburdened General Anthroposophical Society): “Uncle, what is wrong with you?” (In German the word is wirren, thus literally: “What is confusing you?”) Not Parzival this time, but the motion was thrown out.
And so, once the necessary preparations have been completed during Act II, an attempt will be made through the holding of an extra-ordinary General Meeting to restore Anthroposophia – who has since 1923/24 more or less lived estranged from humanity on earth – to her original destination and thereby bring her and our karma as anthroposophists into order. After all, Rudolf Steiner once warned that if the impulse of the 1923 Christmas Conference for the refoundation of the Anthroposophical Society as the chalice for the inflow of anthroposophia would not be grounded within 9 months, she would then dissipate and dissolve into the cosmos. And even though this impulse lives on in the hearts and minds of many and may be cultivated in small groups here and there, one cannot maintain in all honesty that this new societal impulse, this new principle of civilization manifests itself in the life of the General Anthroposophical Society, which in addition was not shaped for this purpose to begin with. On the contrary, the expression Casper-Hauser-state for the Anthroposophical Society and Anthroposophia is justified, i.e. first a switch of legal persons just after birth and then a malicious attempt to let this being grow up in an organization inadequate and foreign to its mission in order to block and neutralize its mission on earth.
Just as during the original Christmas Conference, this invocation for the return, the re-embodiment of Anthroposophia in the Anthroposophical Society will require a threefold form:
  1. The discussion on and acceptance of the amended principles as the renewed statutes of the Anthroposophical Society;
  2. The reciting of the Foundations Stone Meditation and its rhythms;
  3. An overview of the history of the 20th century in the light of anthroposophy.

Now, as far as the General Anthroposophical Society is concerned: this social body also needs an impulse for renewal. Contrary to the timing of the Christmas Conference for the incarnation of Anthroposophia, which is truly a Christmas impulse that can best be realized during mid-winter, the General Anthroposophical Society is an impulse for the transubstantiation of the earth – the earth as a threefold social organism – so that it can become more and more the body of the spirit of the Earth, the Christ. This impulse can therefore be realized best during the time of mid-summer, the time of St John.
The human spiritual resources and capacities to realize this twofold renewal is the royal art and science of social organics that was lived by Rudolf Steiner and further developed by Herbert Witzenmann, as his social esthetic essay following this foreword introducing the Kardeiz Saga can attest to.[28]


This 5th edition has been done with a view to presenting it this Sunday afternoon, September 2, in the Conference Room of the Rudolf Steiner Library in Ghent, NY, where it has also been written. As with the updated 3rd edition of Herbert Witzenmann’s The Just Price – World Economy as Social Organics, which consists of three lectures introducing Rudolf Steiner’s course on World Economy and which was presented at the Rudolf Steiner Library last Sunday, I therefore want to thank again the librarian Fred Paddock and his patient and helpful staff for their assistance in locating the necessary literature for my research that went into this edition. John Root Sr. and his wife Nancy from the Berkshire-Taconic branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America I want thank once more for allowing me to work in the library before and after closing hours. A special mention must go to my new friend and almost as it seems, long lost comrade-in-arms, Dennis Evenson with whom I spent a thoroughly enjoyable week editing the booklet on Herbert Witzenmann’s The Just Price and exploring the physical as well as spiritual landscapes in and around this hillside area, such as the House on the Hill, Olana, of the famous American landscape artist Frederic Church overlooking the Hudson River and the Catskills. It was Dennis’ intense interest and desire to hear something first hand of the recent (hidden) history of the Anthroposophical Society in Europe that inspired me to write the extensive foreword to this edition. Finally I thank again Richard Roe for allowing me to live in his nearby cottage, local publisher James Wetmore for his printing assistance and Herbert Horn and his wife Evi from Ghent for their generous offer to use their car in order to get this manuscript to Pro Printers in Hudson and to get to my talks and slide shows on Werner Greub’s How The Grail Sites Were Found this busy weekend in the Town Libraries of Sheffield MA and Woodstock NY.

Robert J. Kelder,
August 30, 2001 
Rudolf Steiner Library, Ghent NY

Update 2011: None of the suggestions here put forward to recall the Anthroposophical Society were taken up, nay were even seriously considered during the General Assembly in 2001. All of them, as well as all the many suggestions by other members were dispensed of in record tempo. This resulted in a number of court cases by disgruntled members against the board, which although in the end successful did not stop the plans by the board to assume more powere and privileges than foreseen in the original principles. For in the mean time, these have - under the leadership of the board executive and the passive willingness of the General Assembly- been disfigured in the sense that the balance of power between the center and the periphery has been shifted almost entirely to the side of the center, i.e. the board, at the expense of the members’ rights, such as the right of individual to submit motions. To further delve into this retrograde development must be left to a future publication.  

[1] While writing this introduction in the Rudolf Steiner Library during the week before the presentation of this booklet on September 2nd, the Summer 2001 issue of News for Members arrived. In it was a report by S. Jüngel entitled “The Annual Meeting at the Goetheanum,” taken from Anthroposophy Worldwide #4, May 2001. Now, having had a close look at many past issues of this newsletter over the last few weeks, I was somewhat prepared for what I would encounter. And indeed, I was again struck by the number of errors, oversimplification, disinformation and even an unsubstantiated accusation in this report and as such again reminded of the veritable news black out with respect to uncomfortable, dissenting opinions in our ranks that is being hung over the membership at large by the present leadership and staff of the Goetheanum in Dornach, of which most members have not the faintest idea. Apparently not even the (former) editor of this newsletter, Joan Almon – who never saw fit to publish any of my critical but fair articles over the past few years or references to my talks or publications. In the January 1999 issue she wrote (on p. 13): “I know of no decisions to ban controversy in the publications of the Society.” This was in response to a question by Mary Rubach, to whom I once complained about this ban, who had written: “Why are there no divergent opinions about the Society which, after all makes this newsletter possible?” Well, dear members, out of my own bitter experience over the last 25 years in the Society in Europe, which is corroborated by the experience of many other so-called dissidents, such as Herbert Witzenmann, Werner Greub, Thomas Meyer, G. Bondarew, and as I have shown in my booklet Munsalvaesche in America, I can truly state that – apart from the publication of my motion this year in the Goetheanum on the election of the two new Council members, which arose almost out of a legal necessity – since 1984 hardly any of my almost yearly motions, requests and remarks at the General Assembly in Dornach have found their way into the official minutes and reports of these meetings in the Goetheanum News for Members, nor have hardly any of my many articles been published (completely) or been taken notice of in the newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in Holland.  When I finally confronted the late Manfred Schmidt-Brabant during a General Assembly in 1994 or 1995 with this glaring suppression of contributions from ordinary members, he answered as a matter of fact that this was simply an age-old custom. However, I checked it out, and it surely was not, rather an initiative started during the (late) President’s own term of office. True to supposed custom, this exchange was thus not reported in any official organ either; nor were my remarks pointing this out, spoken at the General Assembly in Dornach the next year (1996). Only those who were present can attest to them. Any future historiography of the Society worthy of its name will have to take these mishaps into account and rely not only on the official written documents, but also on those of the ‘dissidents’ and, as in the days of old, oral tradition. – In what follows I will try to identify some of the pitfalls of the said report by S. Jüngel, and of other reports, in as far as they are relevant for the proposed Kardeiz Saga to recall the Anthroposophical Society.
[2] Here the first error in the report creeps in: contrary to what Jüngel writes, it was not an AGM of the Anthroposophical Society, but of the General Anthroposophical Society. This distinction is important, as will become clearer later on.
[3] At the point in time, February 2001, of entering this motion, I had not yet coined the title Kardeiz Saga for the herewith-proposed solution to the constitutional question.
[4] With respect to my motion regarding the expansion of the Executive Council, the Jüngel report limits itself to an under the belt accusation, or rather insinuation: “Among the reasons given to reject certain motions were….interference with the freedom of Executive Council”. I beg your pardon? Interference with the Council’s freedom? I challenge Mr Jüngel to substantiate this unfounded charge or else withdraw it. As the discerning reader who will read on to study the three points that my motion raised may decide for himself, it is the other way around: the Council is interfering with the freedom of members to raise motions, is suppressing free speech, is preventing a clarification of the ‘as-if situation’ of the Society and is thereby guilty of misrepresenting the principles and of keeping the Alloy King on his throne, instead of liberating him as in Goethe’s Fairy Tale of the Beautiful Lily and the Green Snake!
[5] Here the disinformation in the report and, indeed, the hypocrisy on the part of the present Goetheanum leadership enters into the picture: first of all there were not 16 motions, as the report states, but 12 motions and 4 requests. This distinction is important, because since 1975 a legal differentiation was made between motions and requests, which is not found in the principles. Secondly, the report states with respect to the motions and voting that “Paul Mackay began by explaining the various kinds of motions and how they are handled according to Swiss regulations.” Instead of giving the Swiss regulations priority over the principles, one would expect of a Council – that in an official announcement only a few years ago stated that it saw as its prime task the realization of the statutes (principles) – that it would stand for and guarantee the right of members to raise motions and not have them simply tabled by anti-motions without any real discussion. In the normal world this is called lip service, it is a political procedure and as such a violation of paragraph 4 of the principles of the Anthroposophical Society, which states: “Politics it does not consider to be among its tasks.” – Interestingly enough, however, in the translation of the book The Christmas Conference (as can be read on pp. 59 and 142) this outright rejection of politics has been weakened to party  politics. Is this perhaps an example of going along with the tide?
[6] None of these important details were mentioned in the report, which stated only that “in each case the motions to reject or table were passed by a large majority,” thus glossing over the fact that Biemond’s motion, which was whole-heartedly supported by the Council, did not make it. Instead, the impression was given that all this unnecessary and time consuming motion business stood in the way of more important agenda points initiated by the Council: “Time was reserved for our theme of the year, even if some of it had to be sacrificed (my italics) to handle the many motions.” Again a misconception as to the social organic nature of a General Assembly with the all-important role of the members and spontaneous discussions debate and decision-making comes to the fore without which the social organic counter-current principle as developed in this social esthetic study cannot function.
[7] This is especially the case in the third social esthetic essay To Create or Administrate / Rudolf Steiner’s Social Organics A New Principle of Civilization (not yet translated), where the social organic counter-current principle is developed by looking at the course of the General Assembly 1972 in Dornach in such a way that, notwithstanding the negative turn of events, the missing figure of the representative of humanity, can rise up in the heart and mind of the discerning reader.
[8] I write these qualifications about the ‘so-called Anthroposophical Society,’ because too often it is overlooked that in the first principle the Anthroposophical Society is described as an idealistic Society-to-be: “The Anthroposophical Society is to be (my italics) a union of people who wish to cultivate the life of soul in the individual as well as in human society on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.” Elsewhere (paragraphs 4 and 9), the Society is characterized as existing in the (Christian) middle realm between the Ahrimanic pole of (power) politics and the Luciferic pole of sectarianism, as a society in which dogmatism ought to be excluded. This in effect means that when such symptoms come to the fore in a society that calls itself, or is called anthroposophical by its members or outsiders, one cannot, realistically speaking, regard it as such. This applies, by the way, also to the human being who calls him- or herself, or is called, an anthroposophist. Yet who ever, but noble souls, make such a fine distinction?
[9] While editing this foreword for the 6th edition, it occurred to me that I might have overlooked the fact that the Jüngel report was only the first of two. I have no way of immediately checking this here in Montreal, but if it turns out to be so, it does not diminish much of what has been said here, for it fits the general trend and shows where the priorities by the current Goetheanum reporters lie.
[10] The title of this article in Dutch was “16 keer Rudolf Steiner – Het bewijs is geleverd: Rudolf Steiner deugde niet”. Another translation would be: Rudolf Steiner Was a Bad Character. ‘Deugd’ means virtue, so that this in effect was a case of defamation of character.  Already during the previous AGM in Dornach, and the one of the Dutch Society, I had attempted to point to the Achilles heel of the Commission’s work through a motion and text entitled  “A Higher Court Of Appeal”; my point being that the Goetheanum, School for Spiritual Science as the highest instance should intervene to correct and rewrite the two negative, faulty and damaging conclusions of a report that 1. Did not properly interpret nor fully complete its original task; 2. Its legalistic methodology, which was not given the upper hand in the original task, was not really thought through to the end; and that as a result 3. The negative public opinion that was formed through the slanted headlines carried by the media was not primarily the fault of the media, but of the commission itself. As may be expected, this motion was soundly defeated at the AGM 2000 in Dornach. In his report “No Racism, No Racist Doctrine” in News for Members – August 2000, S. Jüngel makes no mention of this. See the Dutch Willehalm Institute News (WIN), April 20, 2001 and my Anthroposophical Chronicle Anthroposophische Kroniek 1994 – 2001 / Mijlpaal of Molensteen? on the many motions and steps that were taken to avert the malicious misuse by the media of these faulty, politically correct conclusions. Alas, all to no avail! 
[11] Ted van Baarda himself, a lawyer and President of the (meanwhile disbanded) Dutch Commission on Race, as well as Martin Barkhoff, the official P.R. man for the Anthroposophical Society in Germany both refused to accept a copy. Various representatives of Anthroposophical journals and Council members did, but never made any reference to it, neither here in America nor in Europe. If this is not a ban, what is?
[12] Translated from the Willehalm Institute Newsletter, April 20, 2001. The complete verdict as well as the reasons that the Council gave for going to court can be read in my Anthroposofische kroniek: 1994-2001 (Willehalm Institute, Amsterdam, 2001). In “Countering Allegations of Racism in the Netherlands” in News for Members – Winter 2001, our S. Jüngel merely states “a critical, left-wing weekly, De Groene Amsterdammer, published an extremely one-sided, negative article. The Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands then went to court against this paper and lost on May 31, 2000.” Then his report cites four observations by Ramon Brüll, claiming that among other things “the historical and legal approach of the commission did away with any need to distance ourselves from Rudolf Steiner”, without mentioning that R. Brüll, as the publisher of the German translation of the Van Baarda Interim Report, refused to review in his journal Info-3 a booklet of essays written by four Dutch authors – including one by yours truly entitled Spiritual Capitulation – that was extremely critical of this report, saying that this was merely an internal matter of the Anthroposophical Society.
[13] A similar motion, supported by some 24 members, former members and friends of the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands, was submitted to the AGM of the Dutch Society later that spring. Only the motion itself, not the motivation, was printed in the monthly Dutch newsletter Motief, which no longer views itself as an organ of the Society, as stipulated by the principles (nr 14), but as a publication of the Society, a subtle but significant change. Similar to the procedure in Dornach of simply tabling it, the motion was not dealt with, the only difference being that the initiative not to discuss the motion came from the Council itself and not a member. A point of order entered when it came time to discharge the Council in order to make it clear to the General Assembly that if it voted to endorse the account of the Council on its activities of the past year, it would be co-responsible for the work of the Van Baarda commission was not recognized – a clear violation of the customs of Dutch association law. This was an absolute novelty in the history of the Dutch Society in a country which, after all, prides itself on its record of free speech and tolerance. According to the president of the Dutch Society, Ron Dunselman, in an article in News for MembersAutumn 2000, the Van Baarda final report has ushered in “A New Phase for Anthroposophy”, a phase in which “knowledge of the philosophical ideas behind anthroposophy was and still is not necessary. What matters most for society is anthroposophy’s work for the good of humanity; anthroposophy does not have to be ‘sold’”. How this and other remarks in this article can be rhymed with the age of the consciousness soul is a mystery to me, but then I vividly remember my first encounter with certain more negative aspects of the Dutch approach to anthroposophy through the remarks of Bernard Lievegoed, the former president of the Society in Holland, who said that for the time being anthroposophy in Holland has to be approached in the manner of the intellectual or rational soul. Instead of spiritualizing the intellect, intellectualizing the spirit?
[14] Rudolf Steiner, The Christmas Conference, p. 54 ff.
[15] Rudolf Grosse in his book The Christmas Foundation – Beginning of a New Cosmic Age (Vancouver, 1984) reports (on p. 131 ff.): “In an essay dated June 28, 1924, Ita Wegman wrote: ‘We must preserve continuity in our work right down to its very form, so that no fragmentation or separation can take place between the anthroposophical body of wisdom and the personality of Rudolf Steiner. For he himself once said: ‘Once I have departed from the physical plane, if the opposition forces then succeed in separating Anthroposophy from me by allowing the broad masses of humanity to hear of my teachings without knowing anything about me, it would become superficial, and this would be just what the ahrimanic beings want and intend.’ – And in her essay Welches sind die Aufgaben des Nachlassvereins (What are the tasks of the Literary Estate?) Marie Steiner wrote: ‘He spoke to me about the time when he would no longer be among us, when it would fall to me to stand up for his work and strive to maintain the link between this great work for mankind and his name. He said that only a few would remain faithful to him and that if his work were to become separated from his name it would become estranged from its original intentions. Then the opposing powers would seize the forces contained in it and use them for their own purposes.’ (July 1945)”. For all of her great service and devotion to Rudolf Steiner’s work, Marie Steiner’s role in the disappearance of the annotation of the School from the editions published by Rudolf Steiner’s Literary Estate that she founded outside the realm of the Anthroposophical Society must be looked at very critically and dispassionately, something that Herbert Witzenmann has done in his social esthetic study nr. 4 The Primal Thought – Rudolf Steiner’s Principle of Civilization and the Task of the Anthroposophical Society (not yet translated).  
[16] I am aware of the criticism that the United States Constitution, especially in matters relating to financial issues, has been bypassed or even trespassed on by various means; a treatment similar to that given to the principles. To delve into this topic, however, is beyond the scope of this foreword.
[17] This is a clearly a Luciferic tendency in the work of S. Prokofieff, who during a recent meeting at the Goetheanum gave a thunderous speech, which earned him similar applause, squarely putting down the Ahrimanic tendency of looking only at the legalistic and historic twists of fate that befell the Society from 1923-1925 and calling for “more anthroposophy”. One could almost see him in the spirit pounding his fists or his shoe on the table. To show, however, that there is also a balanced way of putting more anthroposophy in this thorny constitutional question is the aim of this foreword, indeed of the whole Kardeiz Saga.
[18] If I may be allowed a more personal comment here: As a member of the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science, I consider it not only my right, but my duty to observe that union or concord with the leadership of the Goetheanum that Rudolf Steiner demanded from its members. This union, in my considered opinion, applies to all members of the school, including the present Council, for since Rudolf Steiner did not appoint his legal successor; he himself has remained the head, the leader of the Goetheanum. As a representative of anthroposophy it is furthermore one’s duty to point out when and where this union with the leadership is disregarded or trampled on. To those who claim that the leader of a spiritual school must be physically present on earth, I say that the Anti-Goetheanum School of Ahriman, which Rudolf Steiner referred to as becoming more and more active on earth, has no visible leader on earth, yet who would deny its existence?
[19] In the more than 10 years that the constitution question has now occupied center stage, the views of Herbert Witzenmann as expressed in this and other social esthetic studies have hardly received any notice. I attempted to correct this in my last two motions at the AGM in Dornach in which I referred to his study To Create or Administrate. In this work a qualitative distinction is made between a spiritual society and an administrative one, a qualitative distinction related to the difference between a pure, universal concept or idea and a representation or individualized concept. From his observation of a GM of the General Anthroposophical Society in 1972 and earlier ones, Herbert Witzenmann then comes to the conclusion that the administrative mentality and attitude displayed in the proceedings of the Society has supplanted the spiritually creative aspect, thereby corroborating from an inside point of view the conclusions made by those who restricted themselves to a minute study of the available legal and historical documents of the period 1923 - 1925, namely that what we call the Anthroposophical Society is in reality the old Goetheanum Building Association in a different dress. But Rudolf Steiner in his Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and elsewhere points out that this fine but essential distinction is not even made by most philosophers; how can one then expect that social scientists pause to reflect on this? Yet anthroposophists must make it.
[20] There are so many errors and omissions in the conclusions of this Riemer report that it is impossible to deal with them all here. None of the massive criticism that at least three members of the present Constitution group, B. Hardop, W. Heidt and G. von Beckerath have made of it, has reached these shores where in general it is believed that there are more important things to attend to. Seen individually this is true; but social organically speaking not, for ideas are what nourishes the social organism. Lack of viable ideas will cause misery and chaos, in the end even war and hunger. This is what Rudolf Steiner’s fundamental social law can teach us.
[21] As I have pointed out earlier and as I can testify on the basis of my own experience of the last 25 odd years, it is rather the other way around: the administrative mentality has overcome and displaced the spiritually creative one. This does not of course rule out that the Christmas Conference continues to exist in the hearts and minds of individual anthroposophists, indeed Rudolf Steiner at that Conference said that that was the basic determining principle or condition for its continued existence. This is also the basis for act 2 and 3 of the Kardeiz Saga.
[22] Kasper Hauser, “The Child Of Europe”, was soon after birth abducted from the maternity ward – with someone else surreptitiously being put in his place – and at an early age kept in a dark dungeon in southern Germany during the early part of the 19th century in order to thwart his soul development and as such prevent him from assuming his destiny to become a modern sort of priest-king. Similarly, one could say that right after the birth of the Anthroposophical Society of the Christmas Foundation of 1923, it was “snatched away” and replaced by the Association of the General Anthroposophical Society founded in 1925 as the administrative and economic support group for the Anthroposophical Society. In the course of time the former (GAS) was regarded and taken to be the latter (AS), with the effect of paralyzing and stunting its spiritual growth and development. This is in essence the root of the constitutional question.
[23] There seem to be some moves underway in the US and Europe in that direction. In the US that is the Goetheanum West Giving Group and the newly formed Council of Anthroposophical Organizations. I write seem, because none of them are based, as far as I can glean from their own reports and statement of purpose, on a clear and encompassing knowledge of the intentions of Rudolf Steiner and consequently how the present crisis situation arose and what this situation demands in order to be resolved. In my scenario for the Kardeiz Saga, I will delve deeper into these moves.
[24] See the footnotes to my translation of the principles (statutes) in the appendix 1. This is also an opportune moment to deal with the question that some readers might have raised already at the beginning of this whole booklet or even by looking at its title; namely why the original statutes of the Anthroposophical Society are called principles here, a change in name which goes back to an indication apparently given by Rudolf Steiner in 1925 on his sickbed to his secretary Gunther Wachsmuth. This has been contested vehemently by some scholars who point out that Rudolf Steiner repeatedly said during the Christmas Conference that the statutes are not to be considered principles. Furthermore, it could be argued, a change in the name of the statutes would require a vote of the Anthroposophical Society. And after all, in the little booklet one receives on becoming a member they are called statutes (again). Well, they are all good points, but the original title of this booklet was principles and not statutes (in the text in italics), and Rudolf Steiner also said during the Christmas Conference that they are not ordinary statutes either. So, until an extra-ordinary meeting of the Anthroposophical Society calls itself back into existence and endorses the principles as statutes again, I will stick to the word principles. As may have been noticed, I did drop the word General from the (German) title, because this was clearly a mistake in the original.
[25] There is a note here saying “A legal term defined by Webster’s as ‘the substitution of a new obligation or contract for an old one by the mutual agreement of all parties concerned.’” This note may have been inserted by the translator, without knowing that this term ‘novation’ applies to a serious and well defined concept by B. Hardop, a German lawyer, anthroposophist and member of the present Constitution working group, to renew the Anthroposophical Society. As such this general note does not do much justice to Hardop’s particular scenario. Another case of oversimplification? Or misinformation, because Mackay was certainly aware of the above specific context to which this word applied.
[26] “With these words, Trevrizent indicates the actual new impulse in history, which became possible during the triple great conjunction in the constellation of Pisces. Until then, all striving for the Grail was of no use. One had to be divinely summoned by Heaven to the Grail. This changed with Parzival. Through independent thinking and conscious striving for the Grail, Parzival himself created the preconditions so that the Grail could become his own. This is an absolute novelty, the actual great miracle of the history of the Grail.” See Werner Greub, How The Grail Sites Were Found, translated by Robert J. Kelder, Willehalm Institute Press, Amsterdam 2001, p. 163.
[27] According to Werner Greub’s How The Grail Sites Were Found (Amsterdam 2001) the coronation of Kardeiz took place in Dornachbrugg, Switzerland on Whitsuntide, May 12, 848. The lost kingdoms that he regained were all located in present-day Alsace.
[28] A number of important elements and events concerning the constitution issue and the life of the Anthroposophical Society could not be woven into this foreword without making it a book, for which the following title suggests itself: A Union of People – The Kardeiz Saga for the Review, Recall and Renewal of the Anthroposophical Society. 

1 comment:

  1. At this point six of the ten chapters, as well as Ch. 9.4 entitled "Rudolf Steiner's Greatest Work" of "To Create or to Administrate - Rudolf Steiner's Social Organics/ A New Principle of Civilization", which is a "To be or not to be" of the Anthroposophical Society, by Herbert Witzenmann have been translated.