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JvH Spiegel article translation

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  • tmasthenes13
    Here is my translation of the recent Spiegel Magazine article on Judith von Halle. Tom Mellett ============================================== A FOUR YEAR
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 15, 2008
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      Here is my translation of the recent Spiegel Magazine article on
      Judith von Halle.

      Tom Mellett



      by Frank Thadeusz

      Der Spiegel (The Mirror) Magazine
      July 28, 2008

      A follower of Rudolf Steiner claims to bear the stigmata of Jesus. She
      also ate nothing for years. The judgment of an anthroposophical
      commission: the case warrants investigation.

      Starting with Easter 2004, Judith von Halle had to stop using tooth
      paste. Dental hygiene had unexpectedly led "to a delirium, where I
      hovered between life and death for four to five hours." A tiny
      quantity of alcohol contained in the tooth paste lubricant had
      provoked "the most violent symptoms of poisoning" in the organism of
      the Berlin resident.

      But the fear of cavities and gum disease was moot. Suddenly it
      transpired, as the then 31-year old reports, that she had to abstain
      from eating anything anymore. Even a light leaf salad brought her to
      the brink of collapse.

      But even with her rejection of food, the strange transformation of her
      body was not at all complete. In the course of her remarkable
      metamorphosis, she also felt her sense perceptions become sharpened
      like those of a predatory animal.

      All of a sudden, under favorable wind conditions, she "could hear
      exactly what was spoken hundreds of meters away." Also she could now
      "sniff out" in some miraculous way, whatever would occur in the
      digestive process of another organism --- what was eaten many hours
      before, where the food came from, what condition it was in, how it was

      Then spontaneously, some sort of bruising appeared on her hands and
      feet, yet these were just harbingers of a far grander spectacle: while
      elsewhere the republic's families were happily eating their Good
      Friday fish, she, in her own body, was empathizing with Jesus'
      suffering on the road to Golgatha --- including "the hours long
      abuse, the torturing, and finally, the death throes of the Crucifixion."

      Ever since this time the "stricken one," according to her own
      testimony, hasn't eaten one bite of food. Her body will only tolerate
      water, and then only in modest amounts.

      Is all of this just the wacko ravings of an attention-seeking egocentric?

      Von Halle hardly goes out in public. Apart from a few rather
      heavy-to-digest lectures ("The Human Significance of the Phantom, the
      Resurrection Body") for an initiated public, this afflicted woman
      shrinks from every encounter with strangers. She is carved out of
      completely different wood than the Italian priest Padre Pio --- her
      most well-known predecessor.

      The farmer's wife, Theresa Neumann, from the Upper-Palatine region of
      Konnersreuth (NE Bavaria, close to the Czech border), was elevated to
      stardom by her believers in the 1920's because, on the annual day of
      the Lord's crucifixion, she was said to bleed consistently from her
      eyes, palms and breasts. As many as a thousand people a day would make
      pilgrimages to the house of Father Ferdinand, where the woman with the
      stigmata lived in a single room and would greet visitors in the yard
      outside. For many years, die-hard "Tessie" devotees have lobbied for
      the canonization of Neumann --- so far without success.

      That pious woman obviously had virtues, which at that time encouraged
      a cult-like veneration: her whole life long, she resisted all earthly
      temptations and prayed only to the "Blessed Savior." Otherwise, the
      rosy-cheeked country girl was hard-working and slaved away with the
      scythe in the field.

      The Bible-loving Theresa with her simple grade-school education is
      worlds apart from her successor. The polyglot academic von Halle lived
      for a time in Tel Aviv and in Houston, Texas, and she works as an
      architect. The tormented farm girl was given the admiring nickname of
      "Passion Flower," so now the most recent one laden with the agonies of
      Christ might be personified as: "Passion-Lady 2.0."

      She hardly fits the image of a Christian zealot: She was born into a
      Jewish family and feels obligated to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner.
      It is actually with his ideas that she explains the disturbing events
      to herself. Therefore the stigmatized body must "be that body which
      human beings will carry beyond earth evolution into the Jupiter

      In the anthroposophical community of Germany, at the Berlin Center
      where Judith von Halle was employed as a secretary when the stigmata
      started, the affair soon set off a vast upheaval.

      Bewildered by her own transformation, von Halle first went to work
      with bandaged hands --- but she feared the ridicule of her colleagues:
      "People would naturally think, after a few months, that this woman is
      eccentric because she always wears gloves." Within her circles of
      family and friends, people were surprised to see that she who had
      always loved to cook and eat, now doesn't even touch a plateful of
      bread rolls or even the cakes she used to bake herself.

      The continuing cover-up gradually wore down the architect. She
      recognized that "this game of hide-and-seek was an absolute lie for me
      and for other people." So she revealed herself to a handful of trusted
      friends. They really found the phenomena so outlandish that they could
      hardly contain their enthusiasm to tell others about it. And so the
      word of the miracle spread like wildfire in anthroposophical circles.

      The reactions ran the gamut from ostensible concern ("Might she be
      anorexic?") to brusque dismissal ("That has nothing to do with
      anthroposophy"). The supposed thoroughly punctured hands of von Halle
      must have indeed reminded Steiner-rookies of her relationship to the
      church and to Christianity --- something she did not fully explain.

      The master [Steiner] rejected the liturgies of both Catholics and
      Protestants and totally believed in the need to do without an
      intermediary between the faithful and God. Nevertheless, in 1922, he
      inspired the founding of the "Christian Community" --- a Christian
      church, which is associated with anthroposophy and operates without an
      obligatory canon of dogma.

      On earth, anthroposophists certainly deem the writings of Steiner
      (over 350 volumes) as sacred, above everything else ---- even if the
      "augurs" occasionally strain the meaning of their interpretation.

      However, the fact that von Halle dared to interpret her mystical
      torments through the teachings of the mastermind put the top
      leadership of the anthroposophists in a dither. Observers despairingly
      reported: "The members of the Anthroposophical Society who are
      concerned with the destiny of Judith von Halle, whether closely or
      not, are helpless in face of the facts."

      Furthermore a sudden anxiety cropped up: the mysterious affair could
      severely damage the image of eurythmy enthusiasts who at times eyed
      her suspiciously anyway. Unceremoniously, the weird lady and a few of
      her supporters were expelled from the Anthroposophical Center in

      The cleansing quickly came home to roost: several dozen followers of
      the bleeding lady simultaneously resigned their membership and with
      von Halle they created their own counter-society. Moreover one of the
      members of the commission recently appointed by the anthroposophical
      board (Vorstand in Germany) came to the to the conclusion that von
      Halle should be awarded funding so that she could work through her
      blood and hunger hardship in a working group.

      As of now, however, she still remains in exile. Now the faithful are
      drumming up support to fund the ailing one: "It is well-known that,
      for health reasons, she can only give a few lectures."

      The fact that the story of her alleged four year starvation diet is
      not really credible does not worry her followers at all. According to
      the present state of research, the end result of going without food is
      invariably death. So why is Judith von Halle still alive?

      Her faithful hit back with this answer. "A proof of her living
      without food is not possible at all," asserted one of them and made
      reference to Therese Neumann, who had been dragged to a hospital for
      observation under orders from a bishop. --- something the resolute
      farmer's wife resisted with all her might. Rumors were never proved
      --- according to one story, a pot with stew was located not far from
      her room.

      Judith von Halle's suspicious starvation story is not bolstered by a
      dramatic weight loss. Supposedly she only lost two pounds at the
      outset. With Therese Neumann, at first the pounds just rolled off her.
      Later though, her figure suspiciously filled out again --- despite her

      The worshiper of Christ had a compelling explanation for it: "God
      doesn't do things halfway."


      To find out more about Therese von Neumann, visit this site:
      There are photos of Therese bleeding in 1926.
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