Hafner article re the 3fold Anthro Society
- (Recently Rudolf Saacke sent me the English
translation [as an RTF file] of an article by
Daniel Hafner that tried to explain the police
raid on the Goetheanum a few years ago. I am
posting my reply, together with the Hafner
article as plain text.)
re Lochmann article
Lieber Herr Saacke:
I received your email of Jan. 5 and the
attachment about the three organizations of the
Anthro Society. You ask what do I think about
I have to confess that over the recent years I
have almost given up (aufgeben? verzichten?) on
the "Constitution Question". Especially over
the past three years I have had little time for
Anthroposophy, and the little that I have had I
have spent mostly trying to learn to understand
and do the kind of "sevenfold thinking" that
Bondarev talks about. And since the events of
2002 in Dornach I have come to the conclusion
that, in any case, I can do almost nothing about
the course that the Society will take. The
Vorstand will do whatever they want to do, and
since I hardly read deutsch, anyway I can't even
understand much of what is happening. I'm stuck
over here in the USA, and I can't participate
(teilnehmen? teilhaben?) even in the USA
Society. Maybe someday (I don't know when or
if) I might be able to participate, but for now,
I'm just trying to do my own work, and the
Society will take her course without me.
From what I understand of Hafner's article, it
seems that he is yearning for the "threefold"
organization that he thinks RS tried to set up
for the Society during the Christmas Conference
and thereafter. But if Bondarev is right in his
*Christmas Conference* book, then RS himself,
shortly before his death, deliberately allowed
the merger of the Christmas Conference society
into the Goetheanum building society. And if
now the "school" is also being merged under the
"Goetheanum Leadership Group", then that would
seem to be only a continuation of that process.
And it doesn't matter much to me; as far as I
can see, the "First Class" is only an empty
But I gather that you disagree with Bondarev
about the merger, and I recall that you were
trying to get in contact with him to discuss
(besprechen?) all this. But I never did hear
whether you did have this discussion with
Bondarev. If you did, could you tell me what
was the outcome (Resultat? Ergebnis?)?
But whatever we may do, it seems that the
Vorstand will continue to rule the Anthro
Society as the transformed Building Association.
Maybe the "Good Spirit of the Goetheanum" really
is protecting and guiding the poor, confused
Anthroposophists and the Society. I hope so.
I will forward the Hafner article to the Yahoo
Robert aus Amerika
The Three Organizations of the Anthroposophical
as Originally Intended by Rudolf Steiner
Daniel Hafner, Septermber 2012
First presented at the Threefold Branch, Spring
Valley, in March 2007
There is a fine line between fusion and
In March of 2007 the police raided the
Goetheanum. The reports on this conflict ?
which is decades old, actually ? are usually so
contorted, and framed in Legalese, that they
tend to obscure the actual issue. Which as I
see it is that Rudolf Steiner established three
organizations to form together the
Anthroposophical Society. They are to cultivate
the spirit, soul, and body of Anthroposophy,
1) The School for the Science of the
Spirit has as its task spiritual research. It
has its own strict laws; but these have nothing
to do with outer societal laws.
2) The Anthroposophical Society refounded
at the Christmas Meeting has as its task the
cultivation of the life of the soul (paragraph 1
of the original Statutes). It has Statutes, but
these are unsuitable for entry in any sort of
legal registry. For instance, there is no
provision about voting, nor any kind of
decision-making. They are, as Rudolf Steiner
put it, statutes but not statutes. Guidelines
and principles of behavior. There is a
newsletter. Everything bureaucratic and formal
and official is to be excluded, as we are told
more than once at the Christmas Meeting. There
are, however, membership dues.
3) Then there is another organization,
formerly called Johannes Building Association,
then Goetheanum Association, then finally
renamed General Anthroposophical Society. Its
task is the administration of real estate and
businesses (publishing house, clinic, etc.).
(This does have a deeply spiritual dimension.)
It was entered with fully exoteric bylaws into
the Swiss Trade Registry. There were only a few
Member = take responsibility for Anthroposophy
in the world.
Spiritual research (9).
Member = whoever acknowledges School.
Cultivation of soul life (1).
Experience Anthroposophy as it speaks through
Members gatherings, local or based on shared
Letters to Members on how to cultivate Branch
Statues ? statutes. Unsuitable for legal
Non-bureaucratic, nothing official, no
formalities. [Leave that to the carrier
Donating member = whoever wants to support
Member proper = guarantee dedication of
buildings and resources.
Legally incorporated. Administration of real
estate and businesses. By-Laws, minutes,
Over the years, this threefold membering
was not understood, especially since two of the
three organizations had the same name. From
quite early on, these two were collapsed into
one. Because of this, voting and legalistic
attitudes entered the Society, where they
actually have no place. The annual meeting was
refunctioned into a voting body, where hundreds
of members exercised themselves in debating all
kinds of motions. That kind of activity leads
of course to polarization and schisms.
Conflicts piled up, and by the 1930's they were
expelling members all over the place.
The Statutes of the administrative society
(vol. 260a, pp. 560ff.) were first published
(apart from their entry in the Swiss Trade
Registry) in the members newsletter What Is
Happening in the Anthroposophical Society one
month before the expulsions of 15 April 1935.
These include: "By a resolution of the Board of
Directors [Vorstand], a member can be excluded
from the association without explanation."
Other relevant material showing how Rudolf
Steiner intended the organizational forms,
including the minutes of the Christmas Meeting
among many other documents (vols. 260 and 260a),
were first published only in 1944 ? a year after
Ita Wegman's death.
Some people tried to point out that the
unspoken merger of the Society with its
administrative body was a gross structural
error. The response, finally, in 2002, was a
vote by the members to make the fusion of the
two organizational levels official. Other
groups of members promptly challenged this in
court ? and won. The court upheld the position
of these minority groups that legally speaking,
the Anthroposophcial Society of the Christmas
Conference does not exist!
The police inspection of March 2007 was
merely a further extension of the conflict mode.
My position is that the tactics employed by
some of these plaintiff groups, and the tone in
which they communicate, have been deplorable.
On the other hand, as far as the objective
question goes, they are actually in the right.
They have latched on to a fragment of truth,
namely that the Society and its administrative
body are intended to be two different things.
It is sad that the Anthroposophical Society had
to be sued in order to be made to see that. And
even sadder that it is still mostly not seen.
Of the three organizations mentioned
above, only the one on the bodily level was ever
meant to be incorporated legally. It is there
to protect and serve and house the other two.
That frees the other two from having to operate
on that level.
The next step toward a centralized,
onefold body is the further fusion of the School
with the Society. A new unified leadership
committee has now been announced. One
announcement was translated in the previous
issue of this newsletter; the other, more
official announcement appeared in the
July/August 2012 issue of Anthroposophy
Worldwide. There the following summary appears
below the announcement:
The Goetheanum Leadership Group
The consultations of Executive Council and
Collegium, which took place under the moderation
of Friedrich Glasl, have yielded the following
It is the aim of the Executive Council and the
Collegium of the School of Spiritual Science at
the Goetheanum to enhance integration of the
areas where anthroposophy is applied in
practice, the School of Spiritual Science and
the Anthroposophical Society. This union and
its representation at the Goetheanum is to be
strengthened in the anthroposophical movement
and in public.
A new organ was formed in addition to the
Executive Council and the Collegium of the
School of Spiritual Science: in accordance with
the Statutes of the Christmas Conference of
1923/24 it will be referred to as the
"Goetheanum Leadership Group." "Leadership" is
a term that appears in the principles of the
General Anthroposophical Society.
The Goetheanum Leadership Group is composed of
the members of the Executive Council and the
members of the Collegium of the School of
The Goetheanum as a building is owned
officially by the General Anthroposophical
Society and is under the direction of the
Executive Council. The Executive Council
resigns its responsibility for the
administration of the Building and transfers
this responsibility to the Goetheanum Leadership
Group with the stipulation that the Goetheanum
Leadership Group is authorized to confer the
responsibility for administrative tasks at the
Goetheanum on individual persons (members of the
Executive Council or Section Leaders).
The newly created Goetheanum Leadership Group
therefore has the following tasks:
to set the basic direction for the work of the
School of Spiritual Science, the General
Anthroposophical Society and the Goetheanum.
to assign responsibilities that concern the
administration of the Goetheanum as a building.
In other words, the following is stated
* The Executive Council and the Collegium of the
School for Spiritual Science have been going in
for some organizational development counseling.
* As a result, they are rearranging the organism
Rudolf Steiner created (even more than it had
already been rearranged).
* The two organs will continue to exist
separately, but are also partially fusing into
one joint committee ("integration").
* Thus the bureaucracy Rudolf Steiner warned
against at the Christmas Foundation Meeting is
growing itself a large additional organ.
* The threefold organization created by Rudolf
Steiner -- School of Spiritual Science (spirit),
Anthroposophical Society (soul), and Goetheanum
Building Administration (body) -- which long ago
collapsed into a twofold organization, is now
well on the way to complete fusion into one
Originally, the Goetheanum Building
Administration was the only one of the three
levels with anything like bylaws. It provided
the legally registered protective sheath for the
other two, so that these would not have to deal
with motions, voting, and so on. It had few
members. Now we have that kind of stuff
occupying our Anthroposophical Society, for
instance at the Annual General Meetings.
If we would just apply what we learn in
Anthroposophy and think a little more
organically, we would all see the whole
threefold differentiation right away, and how it
does justice to the being of man.