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Hafner article re the 3fold Anthro Society

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  • RobertM
    (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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2013
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      (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
      the article.

      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
      shell anyway.

      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
      Anthro e-groups:

      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
      organization, below.]

      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
      Spiritual Science.
      – 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
      rather clearly:
      * 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
      central body.
      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.
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