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Bondarev essays on the Web

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  • Robert Mason
    To All: I have just posted two essays (in English) by the excommunicated Russian Anthroposophist Gennady Bondarev. These have not been readily available on
    Message 1 of 3 , May 8, 2006
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      To All:

      I have just posted two essays (in English) by
      the excommunicated Russian Anthroposophist
      Gennady Bondarev. These have not been readily
      available on the Web for some time, and I
      felt that they should be again. They are
      excerpted from his book *The Crisis of
      Civllization* (*Anthroposophie auf der Kreuzung
      der okkult-politischen Bewegungen der Gegenwart*).

      The first is a treatment of Christian ethics in
      relation to the unmasking of evil. Bondarev is
      writing in the context of the dysfunctions of the
      (Dornach) Anthro Society:
      <http://www.Geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1105/ChristianEthics.htm>

      The other is a deep meditation on "good and evil",
      and is really a book in itself:
      <http://www.Geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1105/GoodEvil.htm>

      Robert Mason

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    • Daniel Hindes
      Thanks, Robert. Quite interesting. A bit of additional background on Bondarew and his expulsion from the Anthroposophical Society may be helpful. The Russian
      Message 2 of 3 , May 9, 2006
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        Thanks, Robert. Quite interesting.

        A bit of additional background on Bondarew and his expulsion from the
        Anthroposophical Society may be helpful. The Russian edition of Bondarew's
        book (its full title would be accurately translated to "Anthroposophy at the
        Crossroads of Today's Occult Movements") contained several antisemitic
        passages, including a denial that the Holocaust ever happened (supposedly it
        was made up by Jews to elicit sympathy). Somehow these passages never made
        it into the German edition of the book. When this finally came to the
        attention of Anthroposophists in Germany, Bondarew was asked to clarify his
        views, and maintained and affirmed that he did believe and stood by what he
        had written in the Russian edition. This was problematic on a number of
        levels, since Holocaust denial is illegal in several European countries. The
        statutes of the General Anthroposophical Society allow the Vorstand to expel
        any member for any reason. Bondarew was expelled, and the explanation
        included the statement that "When individuals who also occupy themselves
        with anthroposophy express anti-Semitic views, then this can only be their
        personal opinion, never an expression of the Anthroposophical Society nor
        indeed of anthropsophy itself." Personally, I'm not sure that the term
        "excommunicated" is the best choice of words, given its religious
        connotations.

        Daniel Hindes

        By the way, the typeface on the web page is impossibly, illegibly small in
        some browsers (it is set to -1 in the html). IE shows it normally. Firefox
        and Opera show it as instructed (that is, really small).

        -----Original Message-----
        From: anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com [mailto:anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of Robert Mason
        Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 2:37 PM
        To: anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com; anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com;
        steiner@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [anthroposophy] Bondarev essays on the Web

        To All:

        I have just posted two essays (in English) by
        the excommunicated Russian Anthroposophist
        Gennady Bondarev. These have not been readily
        available on the Web for some time, and I
        felt that they should be again. They are
        excerpted from his book *The Crisis of
        Civllization* (*Anthroposophie auf der Kreuzung
        der okkult-politischen Bewegungen der Gegenwart*).

        The first is a treatment of Christian ethics in
        relation to the unmasking of evil. Bondarev is
        writing in the context of the dysfunctions of the
        (Dornach) Anthro Society:
        <http://www.Geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1105/ChristianEthics.htm>

        The other is a deep meditation on "good and evil",
        and is really a book in itself:
        <http://www.Geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1105/GoodEvil.htm>

        Robert Mason
      • Robert Mason
        ... and his expulsion from the Anthroposophical Society may be helpful. The Russian edition of Bondarew s book (its full title would be accurately translated
        Message 3 of 3 , May 10, 2006
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          To Daniel Hindes, who wrote:

          >>A bit of additional background on Bondarew
          and his expulsion from the Anthroposophical
          Society may be helpful. The Russian edition of
          Bondarew's book (its full title would be
          accurately translated to "Anthroposophy at the
          Crossroads of Today's Occult Movements") . . .
          .<<

          Robert writes:

          Yes, but the (very limited) English editions
          have the title *The Crisis of Civilization*.

          Daniel wrote:

          >> . . . contained several antisemitic
          passages, including a denial that the Holocaust
          ever happened (supposedly it was made up by
          Jews to elicit sympathy). Somehow these
          passages never made it into the German edition
          of the book.<<

          Robert writes:

          I have what I take to be the entire text of the
          book (in English), including passages that were
          deleted from the German edition. I don't know
          of any such passages as you describe; if you
          have them, I'd like to see the quotes and
          citations.

          I recently had a grueling go-round on the WC
          list about all this; my part in the thread
          starts here (March 18)
          <http://lists.topica.com/lists/waldorf-critics/read/message.html?mid=1720032313&sort=d&start=30918>

          Here is part of what I wrote there:
          ***
          I think it's fair to say that Bondarew does ask
          questions about the "official" version (or
          versions) of the "Holocaust" history. I would
          guess that some passages were deleted because
          the Swiss censorship laws are so draconian that
          even asking questions could land one in prison.
          I'm not sure; I have never asked Herr Lochmann
          about it. But I don't think that Bondarew made
          any firm "denial" of the "Holocaust". On the
          contrary, in the course of a rather involved
          discussion, he made this statement (quoted from
          the loose pages of the deleted passages):

          "I am not expressing a final judgement on
          whether the Holocaust happened or not. I
          simply don't have such a judgement. And
          previously I had not the slightest doubt that
          the Holocaust happened. But now I very much
          want somebody to explain to me the meaning of
          these forged photographs and documents -- then
          the exponents of the existence of the Holocaust
          would gain in me another fellow-believer, and
          of course not only one. For now I remain
          deeply convinced that this question is in need
          of study."
          ***

          Daniel wrote:

          >>When this finally came to the attention of
          Anthroposophists in Germany, Bondarew was asked
          to clarify his views, and maintained and
          affirmed that he did believe and stood by what
          he had written in the Russian edition.<<

          Robert writes:

          This is the first I've seen of this particular
          aspect of the story, but I see no *moral*
          reason why he should have disavowed anything he
          said in those passages that I have seen. (I
          have some doubts about some epistemological
          aspects, such as regarding his statement that
          mass cyanide poisoning would have caused an
          ecological disaster.) He might have had some
          *practical* reasons to have backed away; it's
          to his credit that he didn't. I suppose that,
          given the political and legal climate over
          there, he's lucky that he hasn't been
          prosecuted or deported.

          Daniel wrote:

          >>This was problematic on a number of levels,
          since Holocaust denial is illegal in several
          European countries.<<

          Robert writes:

          And the situation is especially dangerous,
          since, as you can see from the WC thread, some
          people can't or won't tell the difference
          between doubt and denial.

          Daniel wrote:

          >>The statutes of the General Anthroposophical
          Society allow the Vorstand to expel any member
          for any reason.<<

          Robert writes:

          Yes, and that clause did not come from Steiner
          and the Christmas Conference founding, but was
          slipped in later by others. (Well, actually it
          says that the expulsion can be without any
          reason whatsoever.) And how much grief has
          followed . . . ?

          Daniel wrote:

          >>Bondarew was expelled, and the explanation
          included the statement that "When individuals
          who also occupy themselves with anthroposophy
          express anti-Semitic views, then this can only
          be their personal opinion, never an expression
          of the Anthroposophical Society nor indeed of
          anthropsophy itself."<<

          Robert writes:

          Note that the statement did not cite a single
          "anti-Semitic" word from Bondarev, and it did
          not mention "holocaust denial" at all. But
          why, if they really had to say anything, even
          erroneous, about the book, did the Vorstand not
          just leave it at that: Bondarev's opinions are
          his own and not those of the Society? -- Why
          the expulsion? The original Christmas Society
          statutes (now only "principles") state that
          (#9): "A dogma in any sphere whatsoever shall
          be excluded from The General Anthroposophical
          Society." The expulsion, allegedly based on
          opinions expressed in a book, seem to me to be
          contrary to the very spirit of Anthroposophy,
          which, in our times, is the foremost teacher of
          true human freedom. I say *allegedly*, for I
          have to doubt that the stated reason was the
          real reason. -- You might want to read my
          closely related post on "Anthroposophy Tomorrow"
          for more on this theme:
          <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/25898>

          Daniel wrote:

          >>Personally, I'm not sure that the term
          "excommunicated" is the best choice of words,
          given its religious connotations.<<

          Robert writes:

          I think that this is a strictly correct usage;
          my dictionary gives this as the second, non-
          religious, definition of *excommunication*:
          "exclusion from fellowship in a group or
          community". But what would you propose as the
          correct word?

          Daniel wrote:

          >>By the way, the typeface on the web page is
          impossibly, illegibly small in some browsers
          (it is set to -1 in the html). IE shows it
          normally. Firefox and Opera show it as
          instructed (that is, really small).<<

          Robert writes:

          Thanks for the tip, but I don't know what to do
          about Firefox and Opera. I don't know anything
          about them; I work with IE, and most people
          read with IE. If I changed something, how
          would that affect the presentation on IE?
          Anyway, only the top note is -1, from a
          basefont of +4.

          -- This controversy about Bondarev is
          perplexing, but it is only a part of the larger
          puzzle about the Society (or societIES) and the
          Movement. It's hard for us over here in
          America and who don't understand German to know
          what is really happening over there in Door-
          knock (much less in Russia). Controversy rages
          about almost everything, and it surely did not
          start even in our lifetimes. I would be slow
          to take anything at face value, try to keep an
          open mind, and keep digging.

          Robert Mason


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