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Fwd: The battle rages on in Dornach (another lawsuit)

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  • Robert Mason
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    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 12, 2006
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      > Members Bring a Third Lawsuit against the Dornach Executive
      > Council.
      >
      > Five members whose motions the Executive Council declined
      > to hear at
      > the Extraordinary Members’ Meeting on April 8, 2006 are asking
      > the court
      > to declare invalid all resolutions taken at that meeting,
      > which had
      > officially been called expressly to hear those motions.
      > The Dorneck-Thierstein Court will hear the case on
      > Tuesday, July 11,
      > at 10 AM. The plaintiffs are asking the court to establish
      > that, according
      > to the Anthroposophical Society’s principles and statutes and
      > according to
      > Swiss corporate law, the Council is obligated to hear these
      > motions – all
      > members have a right to hear, discuss, and vote on them. The
      > court is also
      > being asked to reexamine the financial report, because,
      > according to the
      > plaintiffs, Society funds have been unlawfully used to cover
      > the legal
      > expenses of the two previous lawsuits, and financial
      > disclosure has not
      > been accurate and complete.
      > The first two lawsuits, as you probably remember, were
      > decided in
      > favor of the plaintiffs; this one, too, raises issues central
      > to the
      > future of the Society, while making important legal points.
      > I am resending my account of the events leading up to
      > the
      > plaintiffs’ decision to go to court, as well as a summary of
      > the five
      > declined motions.
      >
      > Refused Member Motions for the April 2006 Annual Members’
      > Meeting of the
      > General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach.
      >
      > This meeting took place on April 8th and 9th, 2006. Member
      > motions,
      > which have to be sent to the Executive Council in writing in
      > advance of
      > the meeting, started coming in well beforehand. Motions about
      > topics not
      > on the agenda must be received eight weeks before the meeting,
      > and those
      > having to do with topics on the agenda, a week in advance. All
      > motions may
      > be read in German on www.goetheanum.org., along with the
      > letters in which,
      > as of March 1, Paul Mackay notified the authors of some of
      > motions that
      > they would not be heard. English summaries of these motions
      > appear below.
      > Faced with the possibility of another lawsuit, the
      > Council then
      > announced that the motions would be heard, after all, and a
      > one-hour
      > extraordinary meeting was scheduled an hour before the start
      > of the
      > regular members’ meeting to hear them. However, at that
      > meeting, different
      > Council members in turn brought countermotions against every
      > one of these
      > motions, asking that they not be heard, and asking members to
      > vote in
      > support of their countermotions, which a majority of members
      > did, without
      > knowing what it was that they were voting not to hear,
      > discuss, and vote
      > on! No discussion was allowed, no further explanations were
      > given.
      > The Council’s refusal to hear the motions is all the more
      > disturbing
      > because all involve actions of the Council – requests that the
      > Council
      > comply with the law and give members the information and
      > explanations that
      > are rightfully theirs.
      >
      > Here are the motions, along with the names of the members
      > bringing
      > them.
      >
      >
      >
      > 1) The Executive Council is requested to act in accordance
      > with Swiss
      > society law
      > (Andrea Stahlberger).
      > At the November 2005 meeting of group and branch leaders,
      > which was
      > publicly announced and to which previously all were admitted
      > as a matter
      > of course, some were excluded without explanation, and one,
      > who had
      > traveled halfway across Europe to be there, was even turned
      > away at the
      > door. These unexplained exclusions violate Swiss law (to say
      > nothing of
      > Anthroposophical principles and statutes).
      > This motion was turned away on the grounds that the
      > Executive Council
      > is already automatically obligated to comply with Swiss law,
      > so that there
      > is no point in voting on this matter. Yet the urgent question
      > remains why
      > the Council obviously isn’t in compliance.
      >
      > 2) The Council is requested to allow Anthroposophists the
      > freedom to
      > form their own groups, on a geographical basis or for the
      > pursuit of
      > topics of common interest. This right is guaranteed by Swiss
      > society law
      > and the GAS Statutes, specifically # 4, and the Principles,
      > specifically #
      > 11. ( Dr. med. Gian Bischoff)
      > The Christian Morgenstern Branch members of Bubikon,
      > Switzerland,
      > would like to be recognized as members of the GAS, and thus be
      > allowed to
      > share in the responsibilities and privileges of Society
      > members.
      > This motion was turned away on the same grounds as the
      > previous
      > motion, leaving the same obvious question: If the Council is
      > obligated to
      > comply with these rulings, then why isn’t it?
      >
      > 3) The Council is requested finally to make a joint,
      > official
      > statement condemning a slanderous, distortive article about
      > Rudolf Steiner
      > which appeared in the May 2005 issue of Info 3 (Independent
      > Monthly for
      > the Exploration of Rudolf Steiner’s Ideas) (Ursula Ruchti)
      > In this article, Felix Hau calls into question the
      > honesty, moral
      > integrity, and lifestyle of Rudolf Steiner, claiming that in
      > effect he
      > “led listeners around by the nose” and only added the
      > Christian elements
      > to his philosophy to make it acceptable to his audience.
      > This motion was turned away on the grounds that,
      > according to Article
      > 8, # 2 of the Statutes, spiritual/cultural matters (Geistiges)
      > will not be
      > voted on but only dealt with in free discussion. But this is
      > not a
      > discussion of spiritual ideas at all, but a reminder that the
      > Council
      > live up to its basic obligation of defending the integrity of
      > Rudolf
      > Steiner.
      > 6) The gathered members request that the Executive
      > Council respect
      > and affirm the identity of the GAS as described in the two
      > court judgments
      > of February 3, 2004, and January 12, 2005, and that they
      > publicly correct
      > the misleading statements they have made regarding this matter
      > (Bernhard
      > Ruchti)
      > The suits were brought because the Council had stated
      > that a claimed
      > society (the General Anthroposophical Society (Christmas
      > Conference)) was
      > the true society and our existing society did not go back to
      > the Christmas
      > Conference. The courts were asked to establish that the
      > claimed society
      > has no legal existence and that our existing society is in
      > complete
      > succession of the Christmas Conference, and two courts
      > confirmed just
      > that. However, to this day, the Council claims that the courts
      > said the
      > Christmas Conference society no longer exists, which gives the
      > impression
      > that the bringers of the suit destroyed that society, when
      > actually they
      > saved it. (The Council intended to merge it with its claimed,
      > legally
      > nonexistent society, and when you merge an entity with a
      > nonexistent
      > entity, it loses its existence.
      > This motion was turned down on the grounds that the
      > Council is
      > already obligated to truthfully present and abide by the two
      > court
      > judgments, no matter how members might vote. If, or, rather,
      > “since” that
      > is so, then members should demand the Council immediately stop
      > misrepresenting the judgments, as the author of the motion
      > does.
      > 7) The gathered members request that Treasurer Cornelius
      > Pietzner
      > give a complete and fully itemized account of the expenses
      > paid out in
      > connection with the Council’s claimed, legally nonexistent
      > GAS(CC), the
      > lawsuits resulting from the claim, and all expenses connected
      > with them,
      > and that immediate restitution be made to the Society for
      > expenses
      > wrongfully taken out of Society funds.( Ulrike Hader)
      > The court judgments, which were not made freely available
      > to members,
      > state that the six Executive Council members are jointly
      > responsible for
      > all the court-related costs. The Council’s claimed society
      > (the GAS(CC)
      > should have paid the legal costs, but since, as the courts
      > found, it has
      > no legal existence, it cannot pay. Second in line are the
      > members who, at
      > the Christmas of 2002 meeting expressed by vote their belief
      > in the
      > existence of this nonexistent society. But it is no longer
      > possible to
      > determine exactly who these members were. Therefore, according
      > to the
      > judgment, (available in full in both English and German on
      > www.888GOYA.org) responsibility for the cost passes on to the
      > 6 members
      > of the Executive Council, who, at that same meeting, appointed
      > themselves
      > the executive council of the nonexistent GAS(CC).
      > .


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    • Seth Miller
      I consider myself a person who is deeply indebted to the path of anthroposophy. I have been actively studying it since I first encountered it about seven
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 13, 2006
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        I consider myself a person who is deeply indebted to the path of
        anthroposophy. I have been actively studying it since I first
        encountered it about seven years ago, and have been a Waldorf teacher
        for the last 4. But I have yet to officially join the
        Anthroposophical Society. I have thought about this for a long time,
        but have never felt clarity around what it would actually mean to do
        so.

        Although I am very concerned about the health of the being
        Anthroposophia, I simply do not have enough experience to feel like I
        can know where my efforts will be most efficacious. I sometimes have
        the feeling like elements of the Society are too similar to other
        bureaucracies in which power (particularly with respect to other's
        thoughts) is enough of an issue to sometimes obscure the often
        healthy impulses lying beneath. News like this only makes me more
        reticent. I feel like I can still work in useful ways without the
        sticky feeling of not knowing what goes on behind the scenes
        (primarily in people's minds and hearts), which leads me to difficult
        questions that I can't answer.

        Why have I always felt this way? As a relatively young person (30
        this month), is this a 'phase', or do others share similar feelings?
        With the conference "The Living Being Of Anthroposophy: Her Mission
        and Ours" coming up, I have the feeling like there is something of an
        issue here. What do others think?

        -Seth


        --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, Robert Mason
        <robertsmason_99@...> wrote:
        >
        > > Members Bring a Third Lawsuit against the Dornach Executive
        > > Council.
        > >
        > > Five members whose motions the Executive Council declined
        > > to hear at
        > > the Extraordinary Members' Meeting on April 8, 2006 are asking
        > > the court
        > > to declare invalid all resolutions taken at that meeting,
        > > which had
        > > officially been called expressly to hear those motions.
        > > The Dorneck-Thierstein Court will hear the case on
        > > Tuesday, July 11,
        > > at 10 AM. The plaintiffs are asking the court to establish
        > > that, according
        > > to the Anthroposophical Society's principles and statutes and
        > > according to
        > > Swiss corporate law, the Council is obligated to hear these
        > > motions – all
        > > members have a right to hear, discuss, and vote on them. The
        > > court is also
        > > being asked to reexamine the financial report, because,
        > > according to the
        > > plaintiffs, Society funds have been unlawfully used to cover
        > > the legal
        > > expenses of the two previous lawsuits, and financial
        > > disclosure has not
        > > been accurate and complete.
        > > The first two lawsuits, as you probably remember, were
        > > decided in
        > > favor of the plaintiffs; this one, too, raises issues central
        > > to the
        > > future of the Society, while making important legal points.
        > > I am resending my account of the events leading up to
        > > the
        > > plaintiffs' decision to go to court, as well as a summary of
        > > the five
        > > declined motions.
        > >
        > > Refused Member Motions for the April 2006 Annual Members'
        > > Meeting of the
        > > General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach.
        > >
        > > This meeting took place on April 8th and 9th, 2006. Member
        > > motions,
        > > which have to be sent to the Executive Council in writing in
        > > advance of
        > > the meeting, started coming in well beforehand. Motions about
        > > topics not
        > > on the agenda must be received eight weeks before the meeting,
        > > and those
        > > having to do with topics on the agenda, a week in advance. All
        > > motions may
        > > be read in German on www.goetheanum.org., along with the
        > > letters in which,
        > > as of March 1, Paul Mackay notified the authors of some of
        > > motions that
        > > they would not be heard. English summaries of these motions
        > > appear below.
        > > Faced with the possibility of another lawsuit, the
        > > Council then
        > > announced that the motions would be heard, after all, and a
        > > one-hour
        > > extraordinary meeting was scheduled an hour before the start
        > > of the
        > > regular members' meeting to hear them. However, at that
        > > meeting, different
        > > Council members in turn brought countermotions against every
        > > one of these
        > > motions, asking that they not be heard, and asking members to
        > > vote in
        > > support of their countermotions, which a majority of members
        > > did, without
        > > knowing what it was that they were voting not to hear,
        > > discuss, and vote
        > > on! No discussion was allowed, no further explanations were
        > > given.
        > > The Council's refusal to hear the motions is all the more
        > > disturbing
        > > because all involve actions of the Council – requests that the
        > > Council
        > > comply with the law and give members the information and
        > > explanations that
        > > are rightfully theirs.
        > >
        > > Here are the motions, along with the names of the members
        > > bringing
        > > them.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > 1) The Executive Council is requested to act in accordance
        > > with Swiss
        > > society law
        > > (Andrea Stahlberger).
        > > At the November 2005 meeting of group and branch leaders,
        > > which was
        > > publicly announced and to which previously all were admitted
        > > as a matter
        > > of course, some were excluded without explanation, and one,
        > > who had
        > > traveled halfway across Europe to be there, was even turned
        > > away at the
        > > door. These unexplained exclusions violate Swiss law (to say
        > > nothing of
        > > Anthroposophical principles and statutes).
        > > This motion was turned away on the grounds that the
        > > Executive Council
        > > is already automatically obligated to comply with Swiss law,
        > > so that there
        > > is no point in voting on this matter. Yet the urgent question
        > > remains why
        > > the Council obviously isn't in compliance.
        > >
        > > 2) The Council is requested to allow Anthroposophists the
        > > freedom to
        > > form their own groups, on a geographical basis or for the
        > > pursuit of
        > > topics of common interest. This right is guaranteed by Swiss
        > > society law
        > > and the GAS Statutes, specifically # 4, and the Principles,
        > > specifically #
        > > 11. ( Dr. med. Gian Bischoff)
        > > The Christian Morgenstern Branch members of Bubikon,
        > > Switzerland,
        > > would like to be recognized as members of the GAS, and thus be
        > > allowed to
        > > share in the responsibilities and privileges of Society
        > > members.
        > > This motion was turned away on the same grounds as the
        > > previous
        > > motion, leaving the same obvious question: If the Council is
        > > obligated to
        > > comply with these rulings, then why isn't it?
        > >
        > > 3) The Council is requested finally to make a joint,
        > > official
        > > statement condemning a slanderous, distortive article about
        > > Rudolf Steiner
        > > which appeared in the May 2005 issue of Info 3 (Independent
        > > Monthly for
        > > the Exploration of Rudolf Steiner's Ideas) (Ursula Ruchti)
        > > In this article, Felix Hau calls into question the
        > > honesty, moral
        > > integrity, and lifestyle of Rudolf Steiner, claiming that in
        > > effect he
        > > "led listeners around by the nose" and only added the
        > > Christian elements
        > > to his philosophy to make it acceptable to his audience.
        > > This motion was turned away on the grounds that,
        > > according to Article
        > > 8, # 2 of the Statutes, spiritual/cultural matters (Geistiges)
        > > will not be
        > > voted on but only dealt with in free discussion. But this is
        > > not a
        > > discussion of spiritual ideas at all, but a reminder that the
        > > Council
        > > live up to its basic obligation of defending the integrity of
        > > Rudolf
        > > Steiner.
        > > 6) The gathered members request that the Executive
        > > Council respect
        > > and affirm the identity of the GAS as described in the two
        > > court judgments
        > > of February 3, 2004, and January 12, 2005, and that they
        > > publicly correct
        > > the misleading statements they have made regarding this matter
        > > (Bernhard
        > > Ruchti)
        > > The suits were brought because the Council had stated
        > > that a claimed
        > > society (the General Anthroposophical Society (Christmas
        > > Conference)) was
        > > the true society and our existing society did not go back to
        > > the Christmas
        > > Conference. The courts were asked to establish that the
        > > claimed society
        > > has no legal existence and that our existing society is in
        > > complete
        > > succession of the Christmas Conference, and two courts
        > > confirmed just
        > > that. However, to this day, the Council claims that the courts
        > > said the
        > > Christmas Conference society no longer exists, which gives the
        > > impression
        > > that the bringers of the suit destroyed that society, when
        > > actually they
        > > saved it. (The Council intended to merge it with its claimed,
        > > legally
        > > nonexistent society, and when you merge an entity with a
        > > nonexistent
        > > entity, it loses its existence.
        > > This motion was turned down on the grounds that the
        > > Council is
        > > already obligated to truthfully present and abide by the two
        > > court
        > > judgments, no matter how members might vote. If, or, rather,
        > > "since" that
        > > is so, then members should demand the Council immediately stop
        > > misrepresenting the judgments, as the author of the motion
        > > does.
        > > 7) The gathered members request that Treasurer Cornelius
        > > Pietzner
        > > give a complete and fully itemized account of the expenses
        > > paid out in
        > > connection with the Council's claimed, legally nonexistent
        > > GAS(CC), the
        > > lawsuits resulting from the claim, and all expenses connected
        > > with them,
        > > and that immediate restitution be made to the Society for
        > > expenses
        > > wrongfully taken out of Society funds.( Ulrike Hader)
        > > The court judgments, which were not made freely available
        > > to members,
        > > state that the six Executive Council members are jointly
        > > responsible for
        > > all the court-related costs. The Council's claimed society
        > > (the GAS(CC)
        > > should have paid the legal costs, but since, as the courts
        > > found, it has
        > > no legal existence, it cannot pay. Second in line are the
        > > members who, at
        > > the Christmas of 2002 meeting expressed by vote their belief
        > > in the
        > > existence of this nonexistent society. But it is no longer
        > > possible to
        > > determine exactly who these members were. Therefore, according
        > > to the
        > > judgment, (available in full in both English and German on
        > > www.888GOYA.org) responsibility for the cost passes on to the
        > > 6 members
        > > of the Executive Council, who, at that same meeting, appointed
        > > themselves
        > > the executive council of the nonexistent GAS(CC).
        > > .
        >
        >
        > __________________________________________________
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        > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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        >
      • Robert Mason
        ... something of an issue here. What do others think?
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 14, 2006
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          To Seth Miller, who wrote:

          >> . . . . I have the feeling like there is
          something of an issue here. What do others think?<<

          Robert writes:

          I'm not sure that I understand your question.
          Feelings are inherently vague, and I'm not sure
          exactly what your feeling is about. If it's
          about the "bureaucratic" aspects of the Anthro
          Society, then I would say that an uneasy feeling
          is probably justified. And the bureaucratic
          aspects are intertwined with the spiritual
          aspects as they work out on Earth. (I should
          say *societies*; there are several of them,
          actually.)

          Speaking of the Dornach Society, I have been an
          inactive member of the USA branch over 20
          years, and a long time ago I got an uneasy
          feeling that we weren't being told something.
          And the more I found out over the years, the
          stronger that feeling became. I found that
          there is a long, obscure, and complicated
          history that most Anthros don't know, especially
          those of us who are mostly limited to the
          English language. And that "history" is ongoing,
          to the present day, as the forwarded message
          about the latest lawsuit indicates.

          If you want to dig into that history, there
          is a lot of literature and ongoing discussion,
          but most of that is in German. A good place
          to start would be Rudolf Saacke's book
          *Die Formfrage der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft
          und die innere Opposition gegen Rudolf Steiner*.
          This is several years old, and a lot has happened
          in the last few years, but this book will give an
          introduction to the historical background.

          Saacke advertises the book on his website
          <www.Anthroposophie-online.de>, in German
          of course. (I append the blurb.) A partial
          translation exists in English, and Herr Saacke
          might send it to you if you ask. His email
          address: <fenix@...>. He understands
          English well.

          As an introduction to the book, you might
          want to see this article online:
          <http://www.lohengrin-verlag.de/Artikel/Saackeinterview.htm>

          I know of one e-group in English that discusses
          these questions, though I haven't been a member
          for several years. If you're interested, you
          might want to join this list and start asking
          questions. There are probalby still some
          people there who could give you some answers,
          or at least point you in the right direction:
          <http://lists.topica.com/lists/Anthroposophy_Constitution>

          Robert Mason
          ***
          Rudolf Saacke:
          Die Formfrage der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft
          und die innere Opposition gegen Rudolf Steiner
          Zu beziehen bei www.Libri.de
          oder über den Buchhandel

          Wer sich über die Geschichte der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft
          der Weihnachtstagung von 1923 (AG) und den Zusammenhang zwischen
          dieser und dem am 8 Februar 1925 aus dem Verein des Goetheanum
          der freien Hochschule für Geisteswissenschaft (VdG)
          hervorgegangenen Verein Allgemeine Anthroposophische
          Gesellschaft genauer informieren möchte, sei auf die in unserem
          Verlag erschienene Schrift von Rudolf Saacke: ‹Die Formfrage der
          Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft und die innere Opposition gegen
          Rudolf Steiner› hingewiesen (Zu beziehen über www.libri.de oder
          über den Buchhandel (ISBN 3-8311-0075-0)



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