Was Rudolf Steiner poisoned after all? Part 1

One of the most viewed of all the posts on this blog has been “Rudolf Steiner’s last illness and last verse”. It is still getting many hits each week, even though it was first posted on February 26th 2016. It seems as though Rudolf Steiner’s death is still a subject of great fascination for people around the world; though, ironically, my object in writing that post was to concentrate not so much on the manner of his death but rather on the extraordinary efforts he made in the last year of his life, despite being terribly ill, to communicate to his fellow men and women the true nature of what it is to be a human being, and the evolutionary path which the spiritual world intends for us. I quoted the last verse he ever wrote, in which he warns of the ahrimanic beings, who seek to turn us into what Steiner calls “the human thing.”

That was my main purpose but the speculations which have surrounded the topic ever since his death on March 30th 1925 continue to exercise a fascination for many people to this day. Why and how did Steiner die, and who would have wanted to kill him? Was an attempt to poison him made at a New Year’s Day “rout” or tea party on January 1st 1924, as believed by Marie Steiner and Ilona Schubert, who had witnessed him being taken ill, and heard him say that he had been poisoned? Or were Steiner’s own later denials that he had been poisoned, as published in three separate bulletins, to be believed? Was the testimony of the three physicians who attended him and carried out some kind of post-mortem examination, that he had not died from poison, their genuine view or were they denying the truth so as not to let the poisoner know that he had succeeded? Were the statements of Dr Ita Wegman (his personal physician) and Guenther Wachsmuth (his personal secretary) that Steiner had died from causes other than poisoning – was this the truth, or were they also covering up the real reason?

In my post, I came down on the side of those who denied that Steiner had been poisoned, and gave instead other reasons for his death, with particular emphasis on the testimonies of Ita Wegman and Guenther Wachsmuth. The whole topic generated nearly sixty comments, and much disagreement between those wedded to the poisoning theory and those who, like myself, were inclined to different explanations.

It seemed clear to me (or as clear as it was possible to be nearly a century after the event) that Steiner had died from highly unusual natural causes related to the shattering of his etheric body after the burning of the first Goetheanum, to which Ita Wegman added another cause:

“The question that arises again and again: what are we to understand by illness of an initiate, why speak of an illness in the case of Rudolf Steiner? That is what I want to try to answer here. Well, why did he get sick?  The delicate physical body was left behind too much and for too long by the soul-spiritual which was working in its very own homeland. The physical body was left to its own weight and physical laws, so that it became weaker and the digestion failed.”

I found these two causes convincing explanations of Steiner’s last illness and there the matter rested, at least in my own mind. But now I have recently read a book of writings by and about Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, which puts the poisoning theory in a rather different light. I reproduce below the anonymous account which appears on pp. 225-6 of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer – A Modern Quest for the Spirit, which has been compiled by Thomas Meyer and published by Mercury Press (ISBN: 978-1-935136-02-6):

The Background to the Plot for Poisoning Rudolf Steiner on January 1st 1924

(This report has recently been received (1999), from someone who prefers not to be named….)

Toward the end of the 50s, when after recovering from a serious illness Ehrenfried Pfeiffer once again came to Arlesheim and to Dornach, I was called to an internal meeting in the Grandsteinsaal (Foundation Stone Hall) of the Goetheanum. There were only a few present – approximately thirty to forty people. Pfeiffer wished to communicate what had concerned him during his illness and what he still wanted to entrust to a few people; before this he could not leave this Earth. What he said, if I may summarise it, was like a ‘general confession’ of his whole life and striving. From this, the following detail: one reason for his going to America was to contact those with authentic knowledge about mechanical occultism. One such person he found fairly quickly. A trusting relationship developed. One day they discussed various phases in the life of Rudolf Steiner. His poisoning at the tea party after the Christmas Conference (January 1st 1924) was also mentioned. There followed a surprising and dramatic statement by Pfeiffer’s confidant. He said: “Please forgive me, I must say something, alas, which will greatly shock you and could separate us again, although I would deeply regret this: I was the one charged with poisoning Rudolf Steiner! This poisoning, however was not intended to be fatal, but to bring Rudolf Steiner into a condition in which he would no longer control his high occult facilities so that they would be practically extinguished. One would then be able to point to Rudolf Steiner and say: ‘See? When you strive for an occult schooling in his sense, as he describes it, for example in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, then you will end up like this.’ ”

Ehrenfried Pfeiffer did not say whether or not he continued his connection with this macabre occultist. He only indicated that Rudolf Steiner overcame this poisoning attempt with the aid of spiritual forces. The brothers of the left hand did not succeed.

There are of course many questions that could be raised about this extraordinary account. First, why is the person who wrote it “someone who prefers not to be named”? With a topic of such vital interest, for Thomas Meyer to quote from an anonymous source does not inspire confidence in the veracity of this account. But let us suppose for a moment that this story were true – in that case, surely Pfeiffer would not have just let the matter drop?


Ehrenbrief Pfeiffer (photo via AnthroWiki)

Pfeiffer was, after all, someone who was a very special pupil of Rudolf Steiner; he was, along with Guenther Wachsmuth, the creator of the first of the biodynamic preparations, (P 500 – the cow horn manure) out of indications given by Steiner; he conducted experiments in an attempt to develop a new technology based on the selfless management of etheric energy; he developed the method of “sensitive crystallisation” for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases, which can also be used for the determination of food quality; and he developed a compost starter and a new heat-resistant strain of wheat with increased protein content. What is more, it was Pfeiffer who, along with Edith Maryon, had stayed with Steiner during the night of the burning of the first Goetheanum – and who had sought to console Steiner, the human being who suffered and whose heart was broken in the night of the fire.

Given this, is it possible that Pfeiffer could have taken such an account of the poisoning of Rudolf Steiner with equanimity? We are told nothing further of his reaction or what he might have said or done subsequently.


Reuben Swinburne Clymer (photo via http://www.fra.org.br)

Who might this “macabre occultist” have been? My guess, and it is purely a guess from other details in Meyer’s book, is that Pfeiffer’s conversation was with a doctor and occultist called Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878 – 1966), who since 1905 had been the Supreme Grand Master of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, whose headquarters are located at Beverly Hall, Quakertown, near Philadelphia. The conversation, if it indeed took place, is likely to have been in the 1940s, soon after Pfeiffer’s move to the USA.


Paschal Beverly Randolph – see comment below from Veglio Blavijo. (photo via National Paranormal Society)

Francis Bacon begins his essay Of Truth with the words: “ ‘What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” I would gladly stay for an answer to the question of whether or not Rudolf Steiner was poisoned, and by whom, but I fear that nearly a century after the event, the truth is now unlikely to be discovered.


Filed under Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Rudolf Steiner poisoning

155 responses to “Was Rudolf Steiner poisoned after all? Part 1

  1. Demetrios Peroulas

    The question can be answered only by those who are able of reading the Akasha Chronicle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Hale

    Jeremy, you mention at the end of your essay:

    “Francis Bacon begins his essay Of Truth with the words: “ ‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”

    Ah, but Pilate did indeed stay for an answer. The answer comes from his own voice. He asks Christ Jesus in chapter 19, verses 37, 38 of the Gospel of John these questions, and then presents Him back to the crowd with his own assessment.

    “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”

    And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “ I find no guilt in Him.


  3. Steve Hale

    Dear Jeremy,

    It is always worthwhile to go further into this essay from 2/26/16, and how it was shown rather concretely that Steiner was, indeed, poisoned on the afternoon of January 1, 1924. While you conveyed that you were not convinced of what caused his final illness, it can be shown that it was due to starvation caused by a veritable shutdown of his metabolic system. And this leads back to the poisoning.

    Steiner refused that anyone should acknowledge it, and this was because he intended to go forward, much as he intended a year earlier, after the fire. Steiner was very tenacious in achieving his destiny. He never spoke about the poisoning, but only the effects of the fire, which caused a major effort of will to remain on earth in order to conduct the CC of 1923.

    So, on January 1, 1924, after completing the CC of 1923, he was poisoned for the purpose of ending his life. He took drastic measures to eradicate the poison, with the assistance of Ita Wegman, and this took several hours of vomiting up the poison, which was of a very caustic nature. This activity served to both damage his esophagus, as well as the stomach lining, and he suffered for the duration.

    Yet, he was not going to let those bastards think he was beaten. He would go on to give more lectures in 1924 than in any other year.

    Jeremy, you say that there were more than 90 comments to this essay of February 26, 2016, and yet only 58 comments show up. Does this mean that you received more than 32 additional comments in your personal e-mail box?

    Best wishes,



    • Thank you for pointing out the comments discrepancy, Steve. I don’t know from where I got the figure of 90, I must have been looking at a different post at the time. I’ve now amended the text accordingly.


  4. No autopsy was performed. It is therefore impossible to determine the cause of death. Many years ago a knowledgeable anthroposophical physician (deceased) told me that the symptoms indicate kidney failure, which may have been successfully treated in the hospital in Basel. (Just his opinion of course.)


  5. Concerning the alleged poisoning at the rout-party, Prokofieff (NqEcAwAAQBAJ, p. 731) and Meyer (Europaer_05_1997.pdf) pointed to the priestly Abel-stream, and they interpreted this female wisdom stream as Jesuitic (CW 265, but compare CW93/19051023).

    Wachsmuth originally thought “It was an Oriental poison that affects the ether body. . .”.’ (Pfeiffer, p.234). In 1917 Steiner had discussed some workings of the Eastern brotherhoods of the left:
    “By arranging circumstances of the physical plane in such a way that the establishment of this Order of the Thugs was possible, and then by directing its activities as required, the plan was to bring about the violent death of such persons as would be equipped after their death with the faculty for learning certain secrets. Etc.” (CW178/19171106 and 19171118)

    Ita Wegman (To Friends) described the final illness as ‘the working of karma’.


    • Ita Wegman (to friends) described the final illness as ‘the working of karma’…. what a trite statement, I wonder what she said to her enemies!
      Prokofieff and Meyer pointed to the priestly Abel-stream, and they interpreted this female wisdom stream as Jesuit… that’s all very well, did they point to who did it?


      • Steve Hale

        As Jeremy indicates in his essay, Ita Wegman states that RS died by the failure of his digestive system. Yet, according to Prokofieff, on pg. 731 of Ton’s citation, Rudolf Steiner suffered a massive heart attack in January 1925, and this caused both doctors, Ita Wegman and Ludwig Noll to fear for his life.

        Any reasonable assessment of the Abel-stream could hardly be considered Jesuitic; the Jesuits are utterly ahrimanic in their consideration of themselves as the soldiers in the army of Jesus. Abel offered the fatted flocks to the Lord God, while Cain tilled the soil of the ground. Abel’s offering was more pleasing to the Lord, but Cain also was duly acknowledged. Cain chose to slay his brother, and be cast out in order to develop the stream of material development, which is associated with the masonic stream. This stream is what produced the Jesuits.

        Now, while Rudolf Steiner clearly implicates the Masons and the Jesuits in the burning-down of the Goetheanum, which caused the onset of his weakened etheric body, and he does refer to this in two letters to MS in October 1924, ref. GA262 – Letters of Steiner’s Final Illness – he never spoke in public [or by letter] about the poisoning. You see, it was such an affront to his dignity, that by shear will he opposed its effects, ordered everyone not to talk about it, and moved on as if it never happened. This is much the same response as after the fire.

        In fact, on January 1, 1923, RS picked right up where he had left off in his course: The Origins of Natural Science. He also did this in 1924, by first summing up the first 21 years of anthroposophical development, in order to lay the foundation for the second 21 years needed; 42 years in all, much like the 42 generations of Abraham.

        But, by September, he was simply exhausted. He had burned out his own candle. This was his karma. Yet, he always held out hope that his etheric body could be regenerated. This is the substance of these final letters to Marie, and wherein he extols the loving efforts of Ita Wegman, who always sent her regards.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oddman

          ” the Jesuits are utterly ahrimanic in their consideration of themselves as the soldiers in the army of Jesus.”

          How is the perception of oneself as a soldier in an ideological or religious cause, out of conviction, ahrimanic?

          “Cain chose to slay his brother, and be cast out in order to develop the stream of material development, which is associated with the masonic stream. This stream is what produced the Jesuits.”

          You make it appear as if Cain had everything well planned beforehand. I don’t think his being cast out was a choice, and he certainly did not calculate into it the development of “the stream of material development”.

          And besides, do you mean to say there was a connection between Ignacius of Loyola and the Masons?


      • Wegman (An die Freunde) saw two phases: “From Januari 1925 onwards, he didn’t speak about exhaustion, but about the workings of karma.”
        Steiner (1916) applied the same expression (karma worked) to the violent deaths of Archduke Rudolf and Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (BSq5byop0rwC, p.63f.). Steiner, Wachsmuth and Wegman all stressed the sudden withdrawal of the etheric body from the physical body (cf. CW 178 on violent death and its consequences).
        Prokofieff and Meyer pointed to Western brotherhoods without considering a possible Oriental involvement.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As cause of death Wegman attested on Steiner’s death certificate: “heart failure and exhaustion after prolonged illness” (Röschert 1998, Zander 2011).

        Only a few weeks after the alleged poisoning at the rout-party, Steiner delivered his workers lecture on poisonous substances. E.g. he described phosphorus poisoning and its antidotes (water and milk). Three years earlier in a medical lecture, he had related the stages of phosphorus poisoning (gastritis, liver failure, heart failure) to the clinging together and loosening of ether and astral body after death:

        “When it is said, as the result of super-sensible perception, that these higher members are a reality in man, a good way of convincing oneself that such a statement is well-founded — there are other ways too, of course — is to study the effects of poisonous substances upon the human organism. …
        When the poisoning is very slight, the same result can be achieved with tepid milk or also with certain oils extracted from plants. These are antidotes for mineral poisons — with the exception of phosphorus poisoning. If someone has been poisoned with phosphorus, plant-oils must not be given because they actually enhance the poisonous effect of the phosphorus. … Mineral poisons only take hold of the physical body; …” GA0352/19240119

        “Therefore there is an inner similarity between the process of the first stage of poisoning by phosphorus and another process, namely, the occurence of the review of life after death. As you know, this can last for a day and a half, or for two to three days. During this review the etheric body is held within the astral body. In a sense, they cling together. This also happens in the human body when phosphorus poisoning occurs. … Hence through these forces that are expended in the first stage of phosphorus poisoning, an improvement will set in after a lapse of as long a time as such a review would last. There will be a kind of fatiguing or recession, and then after this recession the abnormal influence of the ego will set in with even greater intensity.” GA0313/19210415

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ottmar

    On Ehrenfried Pfeiffer s report and Clymer:

    I find it very difficult to believe what Pfeiffer told about his encounter with that unnamed person, but of course I cant go as far as to declare it is pure phantasy or an outright lie. So what does that mean: “I was the one charged with poisoning Rudolf Steiner!” ??

    We dont have a list of those who participated in that rout, but these 20 to 40 ? participants were chosen guests, the innermost circle so to speak. No one else beside Rudolf Steiner was poisoned, so the poison in the cup of tea was added and then directly, personally given to Rudolf Steiner or it was taken care of that no one else drank it. So it was an inside-job! And the poison was not meant to be lethal, at least not as an immediate result. (Who was so close to Rudolf Steiner as to be able to do this inside-job and who had the expertise in poison?)
    „To be in charge with poisoning“? What could he have meant? Execute the crime personally? This was impossible for Clymer, he certainly had no access to this rout. Buy or bribe a murderer? Bewitch someone? Or something even more exotic?
    Sure Rudolf Steiner had many enemies, also occult enemies but this unnamed guy was an braggart.


  7. wooffles

    Meyer claims, via an anonymous source three decades after the fact, that Pfeiffer made a few explosive claims at a meeting in the Goetheanum at which 30 or 40 people were present. But no names are given, without any explanation. If Meyer didn’t think to ask for their names, that’s very odd, since they could have corroborated or corrected the informant’s account of this historically valuable meeting.

    No one in the meeting apparently thought to ask Pfeiffer for more details, then or later, and Pfeiffer told no one else, apparently, either about the occult group or the alleged poisoning, which is also odd, as Jeremy points out.

    None of the other 30 or 40 people said to be present are known to have shared this alleged important encounter with anyone else, although there doesn’t seem to be any reason to stay quiet about it. And that is even odder.

    Meyer’s informant was able to reproduce for Meyer three decades later what Pfeiffer reported his occult acquaintance as saying, exactly, and at length. That’s not odd; it’s impossible, unless Meyer’s informant was trained as a stenographer and was recording the conversation, which seems unlikely.

    What Pfeiffer’s acquaintance is alleged to have told him is unlikely, as Ottmar points out.

    If this sort of dodgy anecdote appeared in a best-selling biography of a famous person, there would be questions raised about whether the author’s informant really existed.

    Are there untraceable claims like this in Meyer’s other books?


  8. Steiner – Blavatsky
    Parallelism of an assassination attempt

    I’m going to mention something about an “unusual connection” I find in Jeremy’s post. I will shortly refer to it. Before I want to quote these lines written by him:

    “My guess, and it is purely a guess from other details in Meyer’s book, is that Pfeiffer’s conversation was with a doctor and occultist called Reuben Swinburne Clymer (1878 – 1966), who since 1905 had been the Supreme Grand Master of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, whose headquarters are located at Beverly Hall, Quakertown, near Philadelphia”.

    My connection has little relation to the content (true or false, it does not matter to me) of Meyer’s “confession.”
    Jeremey used a link with information from Reuben Swinburne Clymer. The connection is, as I see it, here. It is evident that Jeremy does not know the face of this Swinburne. In fact, it also seems to be the case of Ashley Ann Lewis, author of the article on the life of this “American and modern … American occultist Rosicrucian …” Ashley Lewis and Jeremy attribute to Swinburne an absolutely alien face.

    The face in question belongs to none other than Paschal Beverly Randolph. This Randolph “was a kind of Cagliostro … with a practice in Boston where he practiced clairvoyant and gained extraordinary notoriety by virtue of the accuracy of his predictions …” All this I will refer to below.

    I want to put aside Randolph’s life and its possible influence by reactivating some occult orders in North America. I want to focus what remains of my comment on the extraordinary power of this individual.

    I live in Ecuador. I know the writings of the German esotericist Arnold Krumm-Heller. This character lived and toured the American territories from North to South. Huiracocha, his “initiation name”, was and still is known within the hundreds of gnostic groups existing in South America. He spoke and also wrote in Spanish.
    Huiracocha (Krumm-Heller) met the occultist Franz Hartmann. They were both friends. Krumm-Heller received from Hartmann “some authentic notes of his own hand” and also some anecdotes. With these data Huiracocha makes the text that I will quoted below.

    Hartmann lived with Helena Blavatsky for some years and “participated in several events of his life,” writes Huiracocha. Apparently Blavatsky suffered, like Steiner, an unusual assassination attempt although with an element less “unnoticed” than the poison. You’ll see how.

    The attempt to “femicide” (if we have to stick to the semantics of today) was given by Paschal Beverly Randolph, that “damn black”, as Blavatsky called it in the midst of the most terrible commotion. Randolph was one of the esotericists who dedicated his energies to defy the power of Blavatsky and the integrity of his mission.

    Just to highlight the special connection I discovered between the fate of Steiner and Blavatsky, we can understand a little of the deep hatred of “esoteric envy.” Therefore, I am going to share (in Spanish, since Krumm-Heller consigned it like this) the story of Huiracocha. If Jeremy allows it, of course.

    While Steiner conveyed his knowledge in the Theosophical Society, Krumm-Heller came to recognize in Steiner “a true Rosicrucian.”
    Through the account we can have an idea (still very distant) of the macabre proceeding of some powerful “enemies in the occult” that lurk to the genuine spiritual progress.

    Huiracoha begins in this way.

    “Here is the fact:

    In the middle of the last century, XIX, lived in the United States, an extraordinary man, an occultist of strange abilities, to whom they attributed non-vulgar knowledge of wonderful and unknown science. Among his ancestors were Armenians, Indians, Egyptians, Africans and Germans. This impossible and indefinite mixture gave the hero of our narrative a surprising physiognomy.

    P.R. Randolph, as he signed, was a kind of Cagliostro who set up his practice in the city of Boston, where he practiced clairvoyance. Randolph gained extraordinary notoriety by virtue of the accuracy of his forecasts. He became so famous that his name reached the ears of Napoleon III, who called him to Paris, guaranteeing him a valuable contribution. In the French capital he led, in fact, Napoleon, in his deliberations of State (…).

    Prior to this, she visited Ms. Blavatsky in New York, with whom she engaged in relationships, which were later the basis of close friendship. However, people, intimately attached to Master (Blavatsky), were unaware that she did not want to receive him at home, preferring to find him in the middle of the street. No one knows what she discovered in Randolph’s soul. The truth is that he turned away from him, even trying to avoid the magician, who, as was said, dispensed a kind brotherhood.

    In India, Mrs. Blavatsky had already been a curious fact. At the time of tea, one afternoon, he rose abruptly, shouting, “What does that damn nigger want?” (sic)!

    They also tell us that in the United States, Master, avoiding the curiosity of her intimates, was conducting interviews with the magician … As soon as she arrived at the residence, she locked herself in her room and took notes. What did Master write?

    Hartmann states that Randolph’s faculties were indeed extraordinary and his clairvoyance superior to that of Mrs. Blavatsky and all the initiates of the time, considering it a phenomenon within Magic. Randolph knew all the initiatory secrets of the Rosicrucians but was never initiated (in any of these orders). When they asked him where he had drunk such prodigious knowledge he shrugged his shoulders and gave a formidable laugh …

    They say that it was enough to concentrate for some moments to speak any language, however unknown. Mrs. Blavatsky, when she tried to solve any very intricate problem, in spite of her disgust, turned to Randolph …

    A man, who was attending a theater performance in New York one evening with the magician, asked Randolph: “Is it true that you can call anyone in your mind without her being able to disobey you?” “Try it,” says Randolph. The magician ordered him, ad limitum, to choose someone in the parlor. The friend looked around the crowds that filled the theater and said, “That blonde who is sitting next to the column.” “Yes,” replied Randolph, “wait a minute.” The magician closed his eyes, for a few seconds, while the companion looked at the right person. The poor girl, as if she had received a strange shock, shudders, rises, and heads toward the place where Randolph was. “By God!” Cries the friend. Get rid of the charm and leave it free! You have power out of the ordinary and it is a danger! ”

    In response to these insinuations, Randolph simply shrugged his shoulders and gave his usual laughter …

    All Mrs. Blavatsky’s friends considered Randolph a real enigma. She herself avoided alluding to her husband. However, the case of tea in Adyar to which I referred, had its repercussion in the theosophical means:
    It was very hot and the conversation was about trivial matters. A little bit of laziness and laxity reigned in the atmosphere, and all accused the characteristic calm of the summer hours. Suddenly Mrs. Blavatsky paled. “BLACK DAMN!” He exclaims with all the strength of his lungs: “YOU WANT TO KILL ME WITH A REVOLVER!”, concluded.

    After a moment of restlessness and silence on the part of all those present, Master gives a deep sigh and says: “The devil took it!”

    All the attendants then hasty, inquire about the event and the Master explains: “Imagine … that damn black Randolph wanted to kill me at a distance, intending to dematerialize a bullet and materialize it as it penetrates my body. Since he did not succeed, he turned the weapon on himself and committed suicide. He lost his reason … “. He added: “It is what happens, generally, to those who depart from the true path.”

    Later, it was learned that the fact that occurred with Master in Adyar corresponded exactly to the experience then put into practice by Randolph, then in America. He, in effect, fired his revolver, directing the projectile to an imaginary target, but the bullet, instead of following the natural path, returned and attacked him, killing him.

    If I contribute to enriching the biographical lines of Ms. Blavatsky with these notes, I will be satisfied.

    I use this story to recommend the works of this magician on the Rose-Cross. They are very curious books, whose pages contain knowledge that is not available to everyone. It has several, but I must point out the book Dhoula Bel, one of the most interesting. I must add that they were written when Randolph had not yet departed from the right path.

    YEAR II – RIO DE JANEIRO, MAY 27, 1937 – N ° 10 ».


    • Hi Veglio,

      As agreed between us, I tried to edit your comment to make it slightly easier to understand, but WordPress did not seem to like me trying to upload the changed version and has reverted to your original. I think what you will need to do is to send the revised wording to me again, but copy it into WordPress as a comment, which I can then upload before deleting your original. You will see that I have now correctly captioned the photo of P B Randolph and have added a photo of R S Clymer.

      With apologies for these difficulties,



      • Steve Hale

        The problem here is that there is no evidence to impute Blavatsky into these proceedings involving Randolph. He died in 1875, the very year that the Theosophical Society was founded in New York by HPB and Henry Olcott. Clymer was born three years later. Clymer considered Randolph the founder of the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis in 1858, and sought to resurrect his notions in 1905.

        These articles help in clarifying the information coming from Veglio. The third article, which appears to be a long sermon by Clymer, is totally Masonic in nature, and thus utterly without true Rosicrucian content.




        The only link that I can find here to our topic is the report from the Randolph article in which someone later admits to shooting Randolph, which had been called a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I suspect this is considered [by Veglio] to be the same as some anonymous figure stating that they had poisoned RS on 1 January 1924.

        Yet, the difference is that Steiner did not intentionally poison himself. Rather, he declared that, according to two eyewitnesses who wrote memoirs about their lives with the Steiner’s, and were there on the afternoon of 1 January, 1924: “I have been poisoned”!

        So, in my opinion, who needs a rather incidental anecdotal remark coming from someone in America sometime in the 1940’s or 1950’s, in talking to Pfeiffer, that they were the one that actually poisoned Rudolf Steiner. It has the effect of causing it all to become utter trivia.

        And that is the reason that RS forbade anyone to talk about it. He did not want the event to overshadow the great work still to come. In no way did he ever evince to anyone that he was struggling. Being able to take flight in his astral body worked wonders. This is the likely reason why he gave nearly 470 lectures in just nine months in the year of 1924.

        Yet, if you read the last lecture, coming on the evening of 28 September 1924, about the great Elijah stream and its progression, he can hardly even stand.


    • Steve,

      I’m curious why you see fit to display a photograph of Zechariah Sitchin (1920-2010) when linking to the wiki biographies of PB Randolph and RS Clymer? Are you trying to make some occult connection between Sitchin’s mystery “12th Planet” Nibiru and Steiner’s 8th Sphere as it may bear on Steiner’s poisoning in 1924?

      Hollywood Tomfortas


  9. Luke

    ”I’ve got quite a clear recollection of that, of course, very clear. […] Steiner would speak for twenty minutes, George [Adams] would get up [….] and more or less repeat what he said. […] Steiner was of course pretty ill at the time. I remember him getting on to the platform, not actually tottering but looking pretty weak and white. And then he lectured himself into vigour and health; by the end of the lecture he was not quite striding up and down the platform but walking up and down, gesturing and so forth. When he first came onto the platform one really felt quite anxious whether he would be able to keep it up.”
    (O. Barfield, on a lecture in London attended on the 24th August 1924.


  10. Jeremy,

    Until you posted this thread, I had pegged you as a liberal-progressive Anthroposophist, certainly not extreme leftist, but definitely a moderate just to the left of center. I based that judgment largely on the merits of your courageous disavowal of Steiner’s racist statements about the French and the blacks in your blog entry of April 10, 2016. In addition, you declared that Steiner was not speaking out of genuine clairvoyance when he detailed the racial inferiority of the black race compared the the white race.

    But now you have made a remarkable radical shift rightwards, indeed quite far to the right because of your endorsement of the writings of Thomas Meyer, one of the foremost retrogressive paranoid conspiratorialists in the world of anthroposophy today.

    Do you not realize that Thomas Meyer is the major Anthroposophical figure in the notorious Willi Lochman publishing house of Basel (called the Lochmann-Verlag), which publishes the writings of the infamous Anthroposophical antisemite and Holocaust denier, Gennady Bondarev?

    As an vivid example of the quasi-hysterical fear-mongering and paranoid scapegoating of Thomas Meyer, I would like you to read this overheated screed that Thomas Meyer wrote 3 years ago fulminating in such blind rage against Professor Christian Clement of BYU for his Steiner Critical Edition Project.

    Issue 96 of “Symptomatologische Illustrationen”, Dec 2013/Jan 2014

    Click to access No.96_what_hope_is_left_for_the_rudolf_steiner_nachlassverwaltung.pdf

    I’m also puzzled as to why Frank Thomas Smith was being so uncharacteristically circumspect and even tactful when he warned you against Thomas Meyer, simply stating that Meyer “has a good imagination.”

    Hence my more urgent and strident tone to you, Jeremy. Do you really want to be identified now with the far right xenophobia and virulent Anthroposophical antisemitism of the Willi Lochman publishing concern with Thomas Meyer as Willi’s literal “right hand man?”

    If you don’t believe me, Jeremy, then I call upon the seasoned Germanistic and Steineristic expertise of the inimitable Anthony the Great of Holland (known to us as “Ton Majoor”) to elucidate better than I can the pathological paranoid delusions of Thomas Meyer.

    The Rt. Irrev. Thomas E. Mellett, AAA
    (AAA = Ahriman’s Advocate for Anthroposophy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I liked the final paragraph of the Meyer quotation you linked to, Tom: “People say: Anyone who slanders should, above all, be treated in as lenient a way as possible in our circles; one must make friends with those who spread slanders in the world! This is not appropriate today! Anyone who understands the present time should realize this. It is not appropriate today to enter into discussion with the people who spread slanders in the world; what is appropriate is that one should characterize these people to others, that one should have nothing to do with them. That one should treat them as people whom one wishes to keep at a distance, and in a corresponding way makes clear to other people what sort of individuals those are who stand out there in the world. That is what is called for today!”

      Does it remind you of anyone?

      Liked by 1 person

    • wooffles

      This constitutes Jeremy signing up for “virulent Anthropsophical antisemitism”?

      “With a topic of such vital interest, for Thomas Meyer to quote from an anonymous source does not inspire confidence in the veracity of this account. . .”

      Isn’t the immediately relevant issue, as far as this post goes, Meyer’s reliability as a historian? I ask because he, in person and through his books, is all over the place in the English speaking world (I’ve never met him, nor have I read any of his books). He is plugged on the Canadian Anthroposophical Society’s website as “the greatest historian on the work of Rudolf Steiner,” and if he, in fact, has only a blurry sense of the difference between being a novelist and being a historian, that would seem worthwhile knowing. I’ve seen plenty of discussion of the things you mention, Tom, but no discussion of the reliability of his historical work, and a google search did not pull up anything.


      • Hello Woofles,

        I would deem Thomas H. Meyer as perhaps the “greatest hagiographer” of Rudolf Steiner and as such, hagiography of any kind always plays “fast and loose” with those pesky inconvenient facts that a real historian would not try to deny, ignore or twist. I could say that TH Meyer is thus a wonderful Luciferic historian of Steiner and anthroposophy who balances out the fine ahrimanic historian of anthroposophy we all know and love as Herr Doktor Professor Peter Staudenmaier of that great Jesuit University in the USA called Marquette.

        To help your research into the question of how reliable or unreliable is TH Meyer as a true historian, I call your attention to Meyer’s hagiographical defense of DN Dunlop against charges that Dunlop brazenly plagiarized substantial portions of the work of American spiritual researcher Harold W. Percival.

        Rudolf Steiner in Britain by Crispian Villeneuve

        DN Dunlop: A Man of His Time by TH Meyer

        Having read both accounts, I believe that Villeneuve is correct in his assessment that Dunlop indeed is guilty as charged of deep and long-standing plagiarism of Percival. Of course Meyer mounts a vigorous defense, which you can read in this article here.

        Click to access Dunlop_080206.pdf


      • wooffles

        Thanks for this, Tom,
        My tendency to forget to check the “notify me of new comments” box is why I missed your reply. I agree that Meyer’s defense of Dunlop seems evasive. Unfortunately, google books doesn’t show the pages in Villeneuve after 668, where he is heading to the heart of the issue.


    • I read Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz by Meyer and enjoyed it very much.
      If someone questions the official narrative of the Holocaust it doesn’t mean they’re anti-Semitic. Bondarev says some interesting things – ‘An especially effective means whereby direct magical influence is exercised in the world by the Ahrimanic brotherhoods is the spreading of lies that are virtually identical with the truth. Most anthroposophists, too, are powerless against this. People are very willing to swim with the stream of propaganda that has been thoroughly instilled into them by the mass-media, and of opinions, ideas and judgements that have become habitual. Because these have already found entrance into the ether-body, people are indignant, furious even, when facts are presented, which expose lies that have already become a part of themselves.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • wooffles

        ‘I read Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz by Meyer and enjoyed it very much.”

        That means that Meyer is a good writer. It doesn’t say anything about how he uses sources.

        ‘If someone questions the official narrative of the Holocaust it doesn’t mean they’re anti-Semitic.”

        Yes, in theory that should be possible. In practice it rarely, if ever, is.

        To the extent that I can understand Holocaust-denier Bondarev’s arguments about the Jews, for example, his criticism, he claims, is directed only to those who have the Zionist/nationalist “syndrome” (p. 280 on Rickett’s translation of Crisis of Civilization). Perhaps that is why Steve Hale has said elsewhere that he is more of a critic of the Jews than Bondarev is. But Bondarev clearly has “Jews on the brain” (as someone here aptly said of Steve). That can be seen in his wild exaggeration of the number of Jews who were involved in Bolshevism (pp. 244-5; if you want an introduction, check out the Wikipedia page on Jewish Bolshevism) and his dubious insistence that Isai Davidovich Berg first invented the gas chamber and the weight he puts on that claim (p. 295). Both of these claims are connected with his Holocaust denial.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello gc,

        As much as I’d like to play the syllogism logic game with you (“not all Holocaust deniers are antisemitic . . . “), I must point out that the only Holocaust denier on topic here is Gennady Bodarev who is not only a Holocaust denier, but also an antisemitic one. Are you not aware of the fact that Bondarev was expelled from the Anthroposophical Society in 1998 by the Vorstand in Dornach for his virulent antisemitism?

        Indeed Bondarev’s antisemitism is so egregiously embarrassing to the Waldorf school movement that staunch Waldorf defender Sune Nordwall of Sweden, saw fit to report on Bondarev’s expulsion on the Waldorf Answers website, where he quotes the Vorstand document in full:


        Liked by 1 person

        • Tania Pavlenko

          Most Russians would be Holocaust deniers which doesnt make them antisemitic. Russians know what real Holocaust and extermination is- 70 000 bombed and wiped out villigez and cities with its citizens mostly kids and women, concentration camps for draining kids blood (Salaspils), 1million starved to death in Leningrad siege, all kids and women. 27 million lives, 9 million at the front line, 18 million are civilians- exterminated for being Russian speaking, we know too well what real holocaust is. Jewish people born on Soviet territory where part of that genocide due to living on the ” wrong territory”. If start talking about Red Terror in 1917-1924 commited by Trotsky and his Zionistic komissars , atrocities and genocide of millions of Russian best people ….you know nothing apart from holocaust propaganda.


      • Steve Hale

        My critical remarks go back some 11 years, and they concerned the rejection of Christ. Thus, the specious judgment of anti-semitism goes with the territory, I guess, although an attempt to make the case for the One whom the various Jewish prophets spoke about in their books of the Old Testament was the aim of my discourse. Labeling someone is easier than dealing with the real issue. In fact, what could be more anti-semitic than the words of Christ to certain Jews in the four Gospels? He certainly wasn’t critical of the multitudes who readily came to Him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bondarev (Excerpts 1995), with his lodges of Freemasons, Jesuits, Zionists and Bolshevists, seems to have downplayed and distorted the no less significant Eastern-Indian (Tibetan) origin of left-oriented brotherhoods (‘prepared mediums’, CW178/19171106), and their methods (‘ancestor-worship’, Barr Document III, CW178/19171118; cf. Prokofieff, p4NJbN1BDzoC p. 126 f. and lSBJNohu1moC p.75 f.):

        “Occult-political forces of any kind, that become a tool of ahrimanic or luciferic spirits — or of their new manifestations, the Asuras — are willing to use any means available to attain their goal.” Etc.


  11. Wooffles,
    I invite you to read the book yourself and then you can let me know ‘about how he uses his sources.’ The English version was translated by Terry Boardman, a serious historian himself, so perhaps that adds some credence to the credibility of the work.
    Many do not believe the official story of 9/11 and are not anti-american… why should it be different for the Holocaust… but it is different because laws were put in place to send you to prison if you speak out against the official version!
    Getting back to Jeremy’s post, I think Steve says in an earlier comment that it was an affront to Steiner’s dignity to be poisoned. I can’t agree with this, Steiner was so loved and respected, it seems almost short sighted of him not to be open about what had happened… he could have documented it so anthroposophists could learn the truth after his death…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Hale

      I would agree that if someone questions the historical accuracy of an author, without ever having picked up a book, it might be worthwhile to make the effort. The book compiled by Meyer on Pfeiffer may be utterly excellent except for this anonymous tip from 1999. I’ve been looking into this matter of who Meyer spoke to in 1999, and the person could definitely have been there at the Goetheanum meeting some 40 years before, c. 1959, although he was no longer living in 2010, when the book was published.

      I feel that the affront to Steiner’s dignity was real. It was a personally offensive and deliberate act of malice intended to do harm, and did. People who were present knew it, and by ordering silence about its occurrence, it gave the important impression [to the enemies] that he wasn’t phased, even though they likely still knew, and were left wondering what it would take to bring him down.


      • Steve Hale

        “Steiner was so loved and respected, it seems almost short sighted of him not to be open about what had happened… he could have documented it so anthroposophists could learn the truth after his death…”

        Oh, I believe the event was fully documented, and that the silence should have been broken with the onset of Steiner’s final illness, which ended his public lecturing career. This is when the truth should have been told. The failure to do so for many years creates the cover-up that we speculate about today.

        But, why cover-up such a heinous act? It only lets the ‘perp’ off the hook.
        Even Marie Steiner herself acknowledges fire and poison in the epilogue to her husband’s autobiography.


    • wooffles

      I did read Bondarev’s book myself and I shared my reaction with you. Why would you ask such an odd question?

      Whether or not Boardman is a serious historian depends on what you mean by that. If you mean someone whom serious historians generally consider to have shown the skills of a serious historian, then there is no evidence on his website or anywhere else I could find that he is.

      Most countries don’t have laws against Holocaust deniers. It makes sense that countries where it took place and where a significant number of the population participated in it might be sensitive about the topic.

      There isn’t an “official version” of the Holocaust. Historians argue about it all the time. There is a rough consensus about how many people died in it.

      I’ve never encountered anyone, at least face to face, who claims that 9/11 truthers are anti-American. I’m broadly in political sympathy with the American 9/11 truthers that I know, at least until they get really conspiratorial.


      • Wooffles wrote:

        “Whether or not Boardman is a serious historian depends on what you mean by that. If you mean someone whom serious historians generally consider to have shown the skills of a serious historian, then there is no evidence on his website or anywhere else I could find that he is.”

        Excuse me, but Terry Boardman, who translated T.H. Meyer’s book on Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz from German to English, has actually shown a great deal of historical insight in my opinion. He wrote a lengthy essay on the background of the Mystery of Kaspar Hauser several years ago which intrigued me so much that I printed it off. It is an astounding document of historical analysis of a difficult subject, which I would encourage anyone to read for the clues concerning the “mystery child of Europe”, as well as conveying Boardman’s skills as a serious historian.


      • Terry Boardman and Thomas Meyer are authors, not historians.

        According to J.E. Zeylmans (1992, Who was Ita Wegman?) typescripts of Polzer-Hoditz on the mission of Kaspar Hauser as a crown prince of Baden and his connection with the Rosicrucian stream are falsifications by his secretary and playwright Paul Michaelis from the year 1950. This third problem on Kaspar Hauser replaced Steiner’s problem on the relation of the Jesus-I to Christian Rosenkreuz.

        T.H. Meyer, Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, A European: A Biography
        qa-KBAAAQBAJ, p.xiii, 522, 526 and 534f.

        Click to access Polzer_Leseprobe1.pdf

        Zu den sog. «Aufschreibungen von Ludwig von Polzer-Hoditz nach Gesprächen mit Rudolf Steiner» (Heinz Matile / Andreas Meister),

        Click to access ludwig_polzer.pdf


        • Thanks Ton Majoor, very interesting. It’s a pity that many here do not understand it. It was published by the Albert Steffen Stiftung, which makes it somewhat suspicious. Nevertheless, it’s convincing. Anthroposophists were inventing “fake news” before the term existed. What about Steiner’s love letters to Ita Wegman. IMHO they are also forgeries.


      • My comment about Terry Boardman’s research concerned his article, “On the Esoteric Significance of Kaspar Hauser” here:

        This was the third article of a trilogy on KH:

        I found this third article very interesting, as it related to much of a general esoteric nature I knew about, but little about Kaspar Hauser. The only other place were Steiner’s remarks in one early lecture from the course, “The Apocalypse of St. John”. Boardman certainly seems to expand nicely here, with many reference notes. His main source is a book by Peter Tradowsky, “Kaspar Hauser and the Struggle for the Spirit”, 1997, Temple Lodge Press.

        So, are we comparing apples to oranges, or what?


      • wooffles

        Ton and Frank,
        Does Meyer have a larger argument that he is trying to make that these texts help when he assumes that their dates are correct? In other words, is there a serious problem if Matile and Meister are right, or is it a small issue?


      • Well, take the notes of Polzer-Hoditz/Michaelis on Kaspar Hauser (see Tradowsky, EjECTkHgtnsC, p.277-8 and 280). These condensed conspiracy theories go way beyond Steiner without acknowledging it.


      • wooffles

        Thanks, Ton,
        That book by Tradowsky is certainly clear what the impulse is that makes it so important that these documents are genuine. I was also struck by the place where Tradowsky suggests that he is so convinced of the larger truth of what he is arguing that ultimately he does not care if they are genuine or not:

        “I have arrived at the conviction that the notes here published are essentially derived from Rudolf Steiner . . .But even if this should not be the case, the sayings would still have validty” (xvii) .


      • wooffles

        On Meyer as a serious historian, this is from Annika Mombauer, Helmuth Von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War, p. 7n18:

        “Most of Meyer’s edition [of Moltke’s letters] is of little use to historians . . .[because of] “the mistakes Meyer made in transcribing the text.”


      • Ottmar

        wooffles October 6,
        On Meyer as a serious historian, this is from Annika Mombauer, Helmuth Von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War, p. 7n18:
        “Most of Meyer’s edition [of Moltke’s letters] is of little use to historians . . .[because of] “the mistakes Meyer made in transcribing the text.”

        Annika Mombauer is the strongest advocate of Germany s „Alleinschuld“, it was Germany alone that was responsible for WWI. For her von Moltke was a horrible warmonger. So it is too clear that she wont accept what Meyer wrote.
        Does Mombauer give examples of where Meyer made mistakes in transcribing the texts?


      • wooffles

        Ottmar, sorry I missed your question. Mombauer doesn’t give examples,of where Meyer made mistakes, but I don’t see any reason to assume she is making it up.

        After seeing her note, I got curious about how academic historians engage with Meyer’s edition. A google search suggested that they sometimes use the documents, but they don’t seem to have felt the need to engage with his arguments. To me, that suggests that they generally don’t regard him as persuasive. I could be missing a great deal with such a superficial search, of course. WWI history isn’t something I follow very closely.

        One thing that interested me about Clark’s Sleepwalkers is that he had the same interpretation of Moltke before the war that she did, at least by my reading of Sleepwalkers, and he cites her every now and then. He disagrees with her about how influential Moltke was in the government.


  12. Hi Hollywood Tomfortas,
    Yes I know that Bondarev was expelled from the Anthroposophical Society in 1998. In my opinion, expelled out of FEAR. Anyone, published or unpublished, should be allowed to express any opinion they like, anthroposophists or otherwise. If they belong to a particular organisation, in this case the AS, a simple disclaimer that it doesn’t necessarily share the views of all its authors would suffice.


  13. Demetrios Peroulas

    As far as Gennadios A. Bondarev is concerned, I invite you to study also:
    a. http://initiativeforanthroposophy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Bondarev-Organon-vol-1.pdf
    b. http://initiativeforanthroposophy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Bondarev-Organon-Vol-II-no-Ch-IV.pdf
    Moreover, I invite you to read the following article written by a real western / u.s.american lover of truth:
    Love, Dimitry


  14. Husq

    In life whole errors are in fact less worse than half or quarter truths. A whole error is quickly seen through. Half and quarter truths mislead people, so that they find their way into the lives and cause the most dreadful destructions.
    Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 (German) – Zürich 27 oktober 1919.

    For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

    >Many do not believe the official story of 9/11 and are not anti-american… why should it be different for the Holocaust… but it is different because laws were put in place to send you to prison if you speak out against the official version!<

    Let's see how many people dislike the inversion of this event?
    3 April 1945
    247 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups to attack what were believed to be military barracks near Nordhausen. Unfortunately, the barracks housed a large number of concentration-camp prisoners and forced workers of many nationalities who worked in a complex of underground tunnels where various secret weapons were made. The camp and the tunnel workshops had been established immediately after Bomber Command attacked the rocket-research establishment at Peenemünde in August 1943.
    The bombing was accurate and many people in the camp were killed; the exact number is not known. The men working in the tunnels were unhurt. 2 Lancasters lost.


    On April 3 1945, 247 Lancaster bombers and 8 Mosquitos of Group Nos 1 and 8 of British Royal Air Force bombed and strafed the Nordhausen Camp hospital, killing thousands of inmates. The hospital doctors, nurses, and caregivers, (both German and detainee) fled the smashed hospital leaving the sick and wounded in a desperate situation.

    The next day, the British attacked again; this time sending 243 Lancasters, 1 Mosquito of No 5 Group, and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos to bomb the town of Nordhausen and bomb the barracks. Thousands of German civilians and more inmates were killed in the second attack.

    Altogether, 490 bombers, each carrying 12,000 lbs. of bombs or almost 6,000,000 pounds of explosives, hit Nordhausen. The hospital was smashed, the doctors and staff scattered, the surrounding area devastated. The already difficult situation in the crowded hospital turned into a disaster. The death toll of hospital inmates and workers was approximately 3,500. The number of dead civilians has been given as approximately 8,000..

    On April 11 elements of the US 3rd Armored and 104th Infantry Divisions reached Nordhausen. The bodies of those who died in the bombing and its aftermath were pulled from the rubble and lined up for a "photo opportunity. " No mention was made that the "props" were provided courtesy of the British air force.

    Cameramen A. Statt and Rosenmann had a keen eye for filming the horrors, focusing on details of the dead and sick. The filming was supervised by Major Frank Gleason of the JAGD 89th.

    Watch and see how it was presented at the Nuremberg trials.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. wooffles

    Comments under this video on Youtube might enlighten anyone wondering why Holocaust denial is associated with antisemitism.


    • Husq

      I would like to ask what are your thoughts on the above?


      • wooffles

        I have preliminary impressions, but there is one thing in particular that I want’ to find out more about, and that could take some time.


      • wooffles

        This video is right that the 1945 documentary misidentifies the cause of death of those Nordhausen inmates.

        Shulberg was in charge of the editorial team that put the much larger documentary together elsewhere. I haven’t found anything on the internet that locates him at Nordhausen.

        In the absence of that evidence, you can’t say with anything like the certainty that this video does, that Shulberg lied, as opposed to being uninformed, or misinformed, or sloppy, or in too much of a hurry, or who knows what.

        I have to say that in conspiracy circles, the word “lie” seems to be thrown around freely when a “perhaps” in front of it would be a lot less shrill and a lot more accurate, or “mistake, or even “I disagree.”

        Laying stress on Shulberg being both Jewish and Communist (zweimal schrecklich!) makes the video seem kind of creepy, at least if you aren’t already a certain sort of Holocaust denier.

        Lots of people have fun taking potshots at mega-celebrity historian Steven Ambrose, who spread himself very thin before he was revealed to be a plagiarist. No reason why Holocaust deniers shouldn’t have a go at it.

        The video appears to argue that because a documentary with an error about Nordhausen in it got into the Nuremburg trial as evidence, that proves that the Holocaust never happened, which is silly.

        If that isn’t what it is arguing, I don’t know what point it is trying to make, beyond showing that documentaries can have errors and that incorrect evidence is sometimes admitted into trials, which is not earth shattering..

        Shulberg identified the victims as political prisoners, so the fact that Nordhausen images mistakenly circulate as Holocaust images has nothing to do with him. No one who pays any attention to how badly history gets distorted in popular culture would make a big deal of Nordhausen images with incorrect identifications.

        Seigfried Halbreich is the inmate who was interviewed. You can watch him on the iwitness section of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute website. If the video had switched over to him right before it did, the viewer would have heard how he had just offended one of the camp officials, who, in revenge, had scheduled him to be sent by train to another camp to die on the morning of the bombing, along with a bunch of other prisoners. Halbreich was planning to jump off the train; he said that he was the only one of those prisoners who had the strength left to do that.

        If the video had not cut Halbreich off when it did, the viewer would have heard how Halbreich and other escapees in the woods could watch SS men continue to hunt down prisoners trying to escape from that hell, even though the camps were surrounded by the Americans by this time.

        The more I learn about Nordhausen, the more I doubt that any of its prisoners would have felt anything like the moral indignation that the narrator of this video seems to feel because the Nazis’ enemies mistakenly bombed it.

        The Nordhausen complex was a living nightmare, and the video is all upset and only upset because a documentary gives the wrong cause of the deaths of some of its inmates, which comes across as an odd, if not warped, set of priorities.

        Plus, the narrator sounds like he lives in a basement and rarely leaves it. A course of Sprachgestaltung would do him a world of good, probably on many levels.


      • “The video appears to argue that because a documentary with an error about Nordhausen in it got into the Nuremburg trial as evidence, that proves that the Holocaust never happened, which is silly.”

        This rationale is very similar to the findings of David Irving, who sued Deborah Lipstadt for libel when she called him a holocaust denier. They had their day in court, which was depicted in an excellent filmization of Lipstadt’s book: History on Trial, My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier. According to UK law, where the trial took place, it is the defendant that has to prove the case that they did not libel the prosecuting party, i.e, Irving. As such, Irving pulls out all kinds of evidentiary detail about how Auschwitz was not equipped for such a mass killing, and it could be proven by the very design of the supposed gas chambers where port holes in the roof prove that non-lethal means of confinement were being used. All Lipstadt really had to do was let Irving slay himself with his own evidence, while the real evidence showed an enormous loss of life in the Jewish population during WWII, c. 1939-1945. I highly recommend watching this movie for its details, and how it depicts David Irving, played by Timothy Spalls.



    • Husq

      I’ll come back in good time. Meanwhile:

      When I was young and naïve I regarded history as a serious academic matter. As I understood it, history had something to do with truth seeking, documents, chronology and facts. I was convinced that history aimed to convey a sensible account of the past based on methodical research. I also believed that it was premised on the assumption that understanding the past may throw some light over our present and even help us to shape a prospect of a better future. I grew up in the Jewish state and it took me quite a while to understand that the Jewish historical narrative is very different. In the Jewish intellectual ghetto, one decides what the future ought to be, then one constructs ‘a past’ accordingly. Interestingly enough, this exact method is also prevalent amongst Marxists. They shape the past so it fits nicely into their vision of the future. As the old Russian joke says, “when the facts do not conform with the Marxist ideology, the Communist social scientists amend the facts (rather than revise the theory)”.

      It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn’t make any historical sense. Here is just one little anecdote to elaborate on:

      If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein – free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war? I have been concerned with this simple question for more than a while. I eventually launched into an historical research of the topic and happened to learn from Israeli holocaust historian professor Israel Gutman that Jewish prisoners actually joined the march voluntarily. Here is a testimony taken from Gutman’s book

      “One of my friends and relatives in the camp came to me on the night of the evacuation and offered a common hiding place somewhere on the way from the camp to the factory. …The intention was to leave the camp with one of the convoys and to escape near the gate, using the darkness we thought to go a little far from the camp. The temptation was very strong. And yet, after I considered it all I then decided to join (the march) with all the other inmates and to share their fate ” (Israel Gutman [editor], People and Ashes: Book Auschwitz – Birkenau, Merhavia 1957).

      I am left puzzled here, if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?



      • wooffles

        “after I considered it all I then decided to join (the march) with all the other inmates and to share their fate ” Sounds like the kind of thing for which Jesus got a positive reputation. Deitrich Bonhoeffer made the same decision in the concentration camps and he is regarded, rightfully, as a saint like figure. What is the explanation this camp survivor gave for making that decision? How much have you read about the Nazis marching the inmates back to Germany?

        Are you reading what the critics of Atzmon have to say about him?

        If you want to be taken seriously by anyone who doesn’t already agree with you, you will drop terms like “zionist narrative” until you have convinced them that the figures for the deaths in the concentration camps are many magnitudes inflated.

        Do keep in mind that the magnitude of the Holocaust did not really break out in the consciousness of the world, and Israel, for that matter, until the Eichmann trial was shown on television, and that the Israeli government had to be talked into permitting cameras to be there (Ben Gurion was deeply suspicious of television and its effects and wanted to limit it in Israel as much as possible). It sounds like the people in charge of the zionist narrative almost dropped the ball there.

        I’m not sure what a phrase like “jewish intellectual ghetto” is supposed to demonstrate, unless you are arguing that the only trained historians of war time Germany who believe the figures for the number of deaths in the camps are accurate are Jewish intellectuals or that the ones who aren’t have been duped by them, because of the super awesome manipulative powers of the Jews.

        The question of whether some people wave around the deaths in the camps for contemporary political purposes is different from the question of how many people died


    • Husq

      Steve Hale:

      Elie Wiesel tells a story about a visit to a Rebbe, a Hasidic rabbi, he had not seen for 20 years. The Rebbe is upset to learn that Wiesel has become a writer, and wants to know what he writes. “Stories,” Wiesel tells him, ” … true stories”:
      About people you knew? “Yes, about people I might have known.” About things that happened? “Yes, about things that happened or could have happened.” But they did not? “No, not all of them did. In fact, some were invented from almost the beginning to almost the end.” The Rebbe leaned forward as if to measure me up and said with more sorrow than anger: That means you are writing lies! I did not answer immediately. The scolded child within me had nothing to say in his defense. Yet, I had to justify myself: “Things are not that simple, Rebbe. Some events do take place but are not true; others are—although they never occurred.”

      If the Holocaust is the most ‘documented’ event to happen, then there shouldn’t be a problem questioning it.


      • wooffles

        Do you know the original context of the Wiesel quote? Have you read the book it is from? So far you haven’t produced anything that you could not have found on a Holocaust denial website. So far you aren’t really presenting yourself as someone who knew all that much about the Holocaust in any sort of depth before you encountered Holocaust denial, even if you grew up in Israel.


  16. Husq

    “Some things are believed because they are demonstrably true, but many other things are believed simply because they have been asserted repeatedly.” – Thomas Sowell

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If I may use an analogy…. I read in a Steiner lecture that the shape of the Earth is a rounded tetrahedron, at the seams where the four triangles come together is where volcanoes are situated. At the top of this tetrahedron is Japan and beneath is the continent of America. In my mind, this is nothing like the images we are bombarded with from NASA, the Earth as a globe. If the space industry is built on a complete fabrication in which the moon landings are a hoax for instance (how Armstrong lived his life is testament to this), there is no end to the lies we are subject to; and that includes the Holocaust.
    When the science and maths start separating, cracks appear and light gets in…
    “But in order to grasp the underlying realities of the socio-political realm, one must break free of the ‘black magic’ of mass mind-control, especially of that exerted by the mass-media. It is a commonplace that in politics, as in religion, deep emotions and prejudices are aroused in the human soul. These emotions are shaped in the ‘mass-man’ by influences arising from deceptive, deliberately evil intentions of the hidden powers that control the ‘opinion-making’ organs of society. This fact is no less true in ‘free’ Western, ‘democratic’ societies than in the plainly ‘totalitarian’ ones. And these influences tend to shape the mind of the would-be ‘Anthroposophist’ no less than the mind of the ordinary ‘man in the street’. – Bondarev


  18. With due respect to all those who have been leaving comments on the Holocaust and other subjects, I would now gently point out that, although I’ve let them run to see what develops, they are all way off the original topic. I’m therefore calling a halt here and will not be posting any more of them. Any comments that are related to the original topic of the causes of Steiner’s death will of course be very welcome.


    • wooffles

      When I read this discussion about the poisoning, Jeremy, I feel like there is a larger conversation going on to which I’m not privy. By that I mean that your take on it is what the evidence, on balance, points to, and that’s about as far as anyone can go. But for some people, it appears to be very important that he was poisoned. Have figures like Meyer and Prokofieff or others woven larger stories around the poisoning claim that raise the stakes for it being correct?


      • Prokofieff certainly has, in an appendix to his book May Human Beings Hear It. I gave away my copy some years ago, finding Prokofieff’s views not to my taste, so am unable to refer to it or quote from it. But I do recall his conclusion that Steiner was poisoned, and that this was the work of a cabal of Jesuits and Freemasons – who according to Prokofieff were also responsible for the burning-down of the first Goetheanum. Perhaps someone else can quote the relevant passages here?


      • Prokofieff, Supplement V, The Tragedy of 1 January 1924, p.714-744 (partially in: google NqEcAwAAQBAJ, on the poisoning claim p.725-731)


      • “But for some people, it appears to be very important that he was poisoned. Have figures like Meyer and Prokofieff or others woven larger stories around the poisoning claim that raise the stakes for it being correct?”

        Knowledge of the aims of the Occult Movement is a focal point of concern here in answering this question. Steiner’s lectures GA254 contain clear indications of a compromise that was struck and agreed to by the parties involved.

        The event of the so-called “Chrysanthemum Tea” of November 17, 1901 is where this compromise was made. Marie von Sivers was there, and asked Rudolf Steiner a most important question about conducting a western oriented spiritual-scientific work throughout Europe. Steiner agreed, but he demanded complete independence for his investigations. On the other hand, he had to agree to communicate largely through the oral traditions of the past. As well, to allow transcription of the lectures, which would put them in the wrong hands, but this was the mandate he had to agree with; a necessary risk, and inevitable

        When we are dealing with the occult movement, as described in GA254, we
        have the left-wing faction, and the right-wing faction. The left-wing wants
        esoteric knowledge to be made known, but with special aims in mind, such as
        the description of HP Blavatsky’s use by the Indian occultists for their purposes. The right-wing wants to keep esoteric knowledge secret, and kept from the public for their own use as a controlling power. Yet, both camps of the occult movement equally knew that a mandate coming from the Central Powers was that the time had arrived for spiritual knowledge to be made public, and that Rudolf Steiner was the designated individuality to do so.
        So, this Compromise was made at that event of November 1901. It would
        allow esoteric knowledge to be spread throughout Europe for a designated
        period of time, and then be halted. The signs of its completion were the fire
        on January 1, 1923, and then Steiner’s poisoning one year later. This is what signaled that it was over, and Steiner’s attempt to live and go on for at least nine more years, until 1933, was cut to just nine months, with September 1924 to be the moment of his collapse.

        Now, the left-wing got what they wanted for the 25 years of Steiner’s
        spiritual science. Their specific aim was to cultivate a luciferic stream in
        the listening audience, and this did occur. This would have the effect of
        more easily bringing forth a luciferic personality for the renewal of the
        German nation. Anthroposophists would have a measure of Lucifer
        engraved in their personality. This was the left-wing cause.

        The right-wing, which had to allow what it would rather keep secret and
        self-vested, i.e., Esoteric Knowledge offered freely to the Public, now had
        to take control by two means. By allowing the work of Rudolf Steiner to
        go forth in freedom and independence, the right-wing gained access to
        higher knowledge for its own use (the lectures were allowed to be transcribed),
        They took control of the organization formed by Rudolf Steiner at the Christmas
        Conference of 1923. This they did by the creation of the so-called, ‘Association
        General Anthroposphy’, or AAG, which has administered the society since the
        death of Rudolf Steiner on March 30, 1925.
        Marie’s travail would be to have asked “that fundamental question” in 1901,
        and then to experience its consequences from 1925 until 1948. She did
        have much to deal with in keeping the ship afloat, and making further
        compromises for those now in control.

        It has not changed to this day. An Association of right-wing occultists now
        runs the GAS, and that is why no real progress has been seen in the 92 years
        since Steiner’s death. Just ask any member of the true Anthroposophical Movement, who now stand alone, when they know that Steiner refounded the Society for the purpose of acting as the protective kernel of the movement, and its members all over the world.
        As such, the Society is stagnant today. Of course, this is the main criticism. No one feels that he/she is truly a part of what Steiner labored to build for twenty- five years as a progressive and continually creative movement of the spirit; a movement that is now some 117 years in the making.


      • Wooffles,

        Thank you so much for asking an archetypal Parsifalian question here about the importance of the poisoning and not only why it must be correct, but also why the stakes are so high.

        Have figures like Meyer and Prokofieff or others woven larger stories around the poisoning claim that raise the stakes for it being correct?

        What you are witnessing, Wooffles, is the canonization process going on (mutatis mutandis of course) to make Rudolf Steiner into a Saint.

        At the present time, Rudolf Steiner has been “beatified” i.e. declared a figure of “heroic virtue” by all devoted Anthroposophists, and thus may be referred to as “Blessed Rudolf Steiner.”

        But in order to make the transition to full canonization as Saint Rudolf Steiner, there must be attested at least one bona fide miracle performed by the already beatified candidate.

        That miracle is of course Rudolf Steiner’s miraculous vanquishing of the poisoning he experienced on January 1, 1924 and the spiritually heroic accomplishments he made during the subsequent 16 months he was able to live on after the miraculous vanquishing.

        Normally, a beatified candidate requires two miracles for canonization, but that requirement is waived if the candidate has been martyred for his or her faith. The term used is being martyred in odium fidei = “by hatred of the faith.”

        In the case of Rudolf Steiner, we see that he became a full-fledged living martyr over the course of those 16 months after the poisoning, being martyred in odium anthroposophiae. = “by hatred of anthroposophy.”

        Now there is good and sufficient anthroposophical cause for my assertions here because, first, if we stipulate that the immediately preceding incarnation of Rudolf Steiner was none other than SAINT Thomas Aquinas, and second, if we apply the teaching of Rudolf Steiner that the will activity of a person in one life then creates and shapes the head and brain of the person in the next incarnation, then it becomes clear that the head and brain of Rudolf Steiner was created and shaped by the will activities of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

        Thus the head and brain — hence thinking activities — of Rudolf Steiner are thoroughly Roman Catholic. And thus the canonization process applies mutatis mutandis, noting the transformation from one life into the next.

        Finally, Wooffles, I can explain to you and others here, why I present myself as AAA=Ahriman’s Advocate for Anthroposophy. I am of course, a necessary figure in the canonization process called advocatus diaboli — and the mutatis mutandis here is the complication that, in anthroposophy, we have not one, but two primary devils. Thus I must specify which devil I am advocating for.

        I hope this answers your wonderful Parsifalian question.

        The Right Irreverend Thomas E. A. Mellett, AAA


      • wooffles

        Thanks, Tom. I hadn’t thought of that angle, but I suspect you’ve got the gist of the impulse behind insisting with certainty that the poisoning must have happened and magnifying the significance of the forces allegedly behind it.


      • For Steiner the beginning of 1924, with the alleged poisoning, marked his tenth age (according to Solon’s ten ages of seven years each). In his 64th year he could work from a tenth member beyond spirit-man (cf. CW 99): Holy Spirit, Sophia. Simultaneously, he alienated from his physical body, though ‘not from the physical world’ (CW 262). This life situation could explain his Manichaean struggles, the institutional reorganisations and the karmic revelations in his last year.

        CW 262:
        26 October 1924:
        “As you know, I have become very estranged from my physical body since January 1923.” (Prokofieff 2014 quoted: January 1924)

        15 October 1924: “M.d.M., I told you some time ago how, since January 1923, the link between the higher parts of my being and my physical body was no longer complete; living in the spirit I lost, as it were, the immediate connection with my physical organisation. Not with the physical world. On the contrary: my ability to make a healthy assessment of the latter grew stronger and also more comprehensive. But precisely because everything in the spiritual realm continued unhindered, also as regards the physical world, the hostile forces are making an assault on my physical body.”


    • Jeremy,

      I have been continuing this quest, even as these other subjects arise, and admit to finding them so compelling that I can’t help responding. Now, what further intrigues me about this anonymous source from 1999 is where it is indicated that Ehrenfried Pfeiifer went to America in 1940 in order to “contact those with authentic knowledge about mechanical occultism”. Yet, every indication is that Pfeiffer went to America largely for the purpose of introducing biodynamic gardening principles; even as early as 1933, he visited the U.S. frequently for this purpose.

      In 1940, he officially emigrated, and in these two accounts a further description is given of how he rather easily met a fellow from Kimberton, Pennsylvania, who offered him an 830 acre farm to build on the principles of biodynamics.

      Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism
      Dan McKanan, Chapter 1, pgs. 58, 59

      Into the Heart’s Land by Henry Barnes, chapter 19

      Possibly the book complied and edited by T.H. Meyer describes all this, as it is also indicated in the first book cited, by McKanan, that Pfeiffer left Kimberton rather suddenly in 1944, and met R.S. Clymer, also in Pennsylvania, who he developed a closer relationship.

      Further indications to follow, but your thoughts please.



      • Here is a short biography of the man that invited Ehrenfried Pfeiffer to create a biodynamic farm on an 830 acre piece of farmland in Kimberton, Pennsylvania in 1940:

        Here is the interview that I believe is the source of the anonymous remarks from 1999. This fellow was much like Ehrenfried Pfeiffer in talking about his career as it was winding down. Yet, Pfeiffer came to Dornach after nearly 20 years in America in order to reveal what he had experienced.

        Click to access Rene-Querido.pdf

        Der Europaer, July/August 1999

        This fellow that Meyer interviewed in 1999 is noted for telling his students about the fact that Rudolf Steiner was poisoned on January 1, 1924. He did it while being the leader of Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, from 1977 until 1991, when he retired to Boulder, Colorado. T. H. Meyer caught up with him in 1999 in order to conduct this interview, with much left for later consideration, i.e, the Pfeiffer anecdotes about the poisoning.


      • Perhaps the best thing to do would be to contact Thomas Meyer, ask him to look at this blog post and the comments, and to ask for any further information he might have. Does anyone here have a link to him and would like to do this, please?


  19. Stein (10.8.1924): “Dr. Wachsmuth thought the doctor had been poisoned at the rout party. It was an oriental poison, which affects the etheric body and causes a crisis every Wednesday. Karmically, it means for him an extension of the initiation.”
    This ‘extension’ apparently points to Steiner’s revelations on karmic relationships during the 9 months from January to September 1924. He wrote to Marie, from January 1924 he was ‘alienated’ from his physical body, i.e. he embodied a new phantom body into his disintegrating physical body, including the bones (CW 131, Prokofieff NqEcAwAAQBAJ). Also compare the workers lecture from January 7, 1924 on the human skeleton and death (CW 352), a week after the rout party.

    According to Grosse (1976) about the supposed poisoning (see Tom’s earlier post), Steiner ‘had taken a snack from the buffet’, besides the tea others reported.

    Wegman (Nachrichtenblatt, September 1925) described her visit to the initiation place and antimony mine in Burgenland, Austria, near Bernstein Castle. Antimony is a mineral poison related to pentavalent phosphorus and arsenic.
    “You have before you a human form, a human phantom consisting of the substance taken in by the man. Supposing the person has taken antimony, you have before you a human form of very finely diffused antimony, and it is the same with every mineral medicament a man takes. You create a new man within you consisting of this mineral substance; you incorporate it.” (GA0107/19081208, cf. CW 27 and 312)


    • It is the therapeutic measures that cause the physical body to be ‘driven out’:

      “All mineral poisons cause the physical body to trespass into the ether body. If I now give the antidote, something that derives from the ether body — albumen water, lukewarm milk and the like — the physical body is driven out of the ether body.” GA0352/19240119

      As a mineral poison Steiner here also mentioned ‘tartar emetic’, i.e. antimony potassium tartrate.


      • The method of milk purging is described here in Marie Steiner’s own account of 1 January 1924:

        The Poisoning of Rudolf Steiner

        [1] The Eyewitness Account of Marie Steiner

        Lidia Gentilli published this factual account in her book : “A Recollection of Marie Steiner”:

        MARIE STEINER: “Yes, Rudolf Steiner was poisoned on the last day of the Christmas Conference. At the reception which took place in the carpenter’s workshop. I had been sitting there in that room for a long time, while the others who were gathered around Herr Doktor came and went. I couldn’t pay attention to any one person, and I greeted the impending events with the greatest distress; because something incomprehensible, something hideous stood before my soul, and it made me think I needed to ward off something, yet I didn’t know how and what it was. I just couldn’t stand sitting there so quietly any longer, so I went back to my own room which was located in the back.

        There I was deep in conversation with Dr. Wachsmuth, when Herr Doktor suddenly came in, as green as this leaf. He leaned against the door post, looked at us frantically and said: `We’ve been poisoned!’

        I was paralyzed with shock. He asked us immediately whether we had drunk anything, and as I said no, he also noticed that Dr. Wachsmuth didn’t [drink anything either], and so he [Steiner] gave a deep sigh of relief.

        `So it’s only me! That’s good!’ he whispered and then staggered into the room. Dr. Wachsmuth immediately wanted to rush out and call a physician, but Dr. Steiner vehemently forbade him to do so. Dr. Wachsmuth finally left with the promise that absolutely no one was to learn of this event and that no physician was ever to be summoned. Herr Doktor then demanded he be given all the milk that was present and nearby and with it he administered to himself a “stomach douche.”

        In the meantime more milk was fetched from the Villa Hansi.

        All the existing milk was brought in, and for the rest of the evening and through the entire night he continued the purging/douching/flushing. . . .

        Indeed, even after his death I would have had the obligation to tell the [Anthroposophical] Society, yet even the insinuation, which I made in the epilogue to [Steiner’s biography] “The Course of my Life” met with resistance on the part of the Vorstand.

        No one ever wanted to learn the truth about it. This event [i.e. Steiner’s decree of silence] was treated fearfully as if it were [Steiner’s last will and] testament. So I had to keep quiet about it.”

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Husq

    >Steiner ‘had taken a snack from the buffet’, besides the tea others reported. <

    And managed to take the only poisoned item from that buffet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • MARIE STEINER: “Yes, Rudolf Steiner was poisoned on the last day of the Christmas Conference. At the reception which took place in the carpenter’s workshop…. There I was deep in conversation with Dr. Wachsmuth, when Herr Doktor suddenly came in, as green as this leaf. He leaned against the door post, looked at us frantically and said: `We’ve been poisoned!’
      I was paralyzed with shock. He asked us immediately whether we had drunk anything, and as I said no, he also noticed that Dr. Wachsmuth didn’t [drink anything either], and so he [Steiner] gave a deep sigh of relief.
      `So it’s only me! That’s good!’ he whispered and then staggered into the room.
      Unless I have missed something, this account is seriously flawed. If Rudolf Steiner was poisoned at the reception he would have surely been concerned about the other guests!


      • It does appear that MS was very apprehensive over the whole affair. Her anxiety grew by the moment as Steiner met and greeted all those that had patiently waited outside for nine days. Some 800 members of the anthroposophical movement showed up for the GAS conference of 1923. They received the Foundation Stone Verses each morning. Then, on the afternoon of 1 January 1924, Steiner intended to honor all comers. This is what made Marie apprehensive, as if someone unknown might give the poison. She had wanted a small reception with only the insiders involved. Yet, Steiner was always expansive, and willing to take whatever risk and danger might occur in meeting his flock. He knew the intended target had nothing to do with the guests.

        “I had been sitting there in that room for a long time, while the others who were gathered around Herr Doktor came and went. I couldn’t pay attention to any one person, and I greeted the impending events with the greatest distress; because something incomprehensible, something hideous stood before my soul, and it made me think I needed to ward off something, yet I didn’t know how and what it was. I just couldn’t stand sitting there so quietly any longer, so I went back to my own room which was located in the back.”


    • Marie Steiner reported he ‘had drunk’ something (Gentilli 1947); Grosse 1976 suspected a ‘snack’ (cf. also Lindenberg 1997/2011). According to Wachsmuth’s earlier account: “It was an oriental poison, which affects the etheric body and causes a crisis every Wednesday.”.

      Pastes of stibnite powder (antimonite) in fat or in other materials have been used since ca. 3000 BC as eye cosmetics in the Middle East and farther afield; in this use, stibnite is called kohl (wiki/Stibnite).
      “The treatment for antimony poisoning consisted of one teaspoon of ground mustard/powdered alum in warm water (emetic) repeatedly in order to induce vomiting until the stomach was void of its contents. … Milk or albumen could be administered if the poison had irritating effects. This was followed by strong tea, a decoction of oak bark, or an infusion of tannin.” (Cooper 2009)

      Steiner described antimony poisoning (tartar emetic) and the ‘particular connection’ of antimony with the human etheric body, in the week after New Year’s Day 1924, and he lectured on the alchemical ‘creation of the Homunculus’ (phantom of antimony):
      “Antimony has a particular connection with the human etheric body, and if you introduce it into the human organism as a medicament, you must understand what antimony is outside the human being before you can know what is stimulated in the etheric body by the use of antimony.” GA0316/19240104 (cf. GA027_c16)

      “It seems to me that these were the processes that the physicians of old time sought ever and again to pursue. If they spoke of the creation of the Homunculus, they did so because their surviving clairvoyant faculties revealed something resembling the phantom of antimony.” GA0312/19200408 (cf. GA0107/19081208).


  21. Hi Jeremy, I’ve asked Terry Boardman to look at this blog post and your request for Thomas Meyer to perhaps comment…


    • I have written to Thomas Meyer and here is his reply:

      “Dear Jeremy, I have no interest and no time to be involved in blog discussions. All I have to say about the poisinging of RS (incl. that it was not directly the cause of his death) is in my Pfeiffer publication and in Milestones.
      I am not aware of havng spoken of a «macabre occultist»-
      Best wishes, Thomas”

      In my reply to his message, I reminded him that the reference to “macabre occultist” came not from him but from the anonymous account he quotes in his Pfeiffer book. However, I have just been reading Thomas Meyer’s book, “Milestones in the Life of Rudolf Steiner”, and in that book Thomas identifies the writer of this anonymous account as someone called Paul Gerhard-Bellmann, “who died in 2011, had collaborated for many years on the publication of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • What do you think of his reply?


        • I take it at face-value; he has said all he wants to say on the topic of Steiner and poisoning, and he’s too busy to get involved with comments from other people. There is something a little bit “de haut en bas” about his attitude, perhaps, but there are others on this blog who can also seem patronising. (No names, no pack-drill.)

          Liked by 1 person

      • I was hoping that Meyer would know who the accused poisoner was. You see, knowing the name of the previously anonymous transcriber of the meeting in the late 50’s, who is now identified as having worked for years in the Rudolf Steiner Archives in Dornach, still leaves us without the name of the american occultist that Pfeffier met, possibly around 1944, after leaving the Kimberton Farm project. It is certainly likely that the question of who the alleged poisoner was, by name, came up in the meeting. Did Pfeiffer reveal it, and if so, why has it continued to be non-disclosed?

        I was reading the relevant pages from “Milestones” here, ref. pgs. 148-150, and Meyer does identify Paul Gerhard-Bellmann as the one who wrote down Pfeiffer’s account. Mention is made that Pfeiffer knew an american physician and occultist who was worried about Steiner’s revelations about the heart, etc., and this would seem to further indicate that it was Reuben Swinburne Clymer that Pfeiffer met on his way to Chester, New York to start a farm, c.1944.

        Clymer was an osteopathic physician, and the refounder of the Fraternitatis Rosae Crucia of Paschal Beverly Randolph. Yet, it can be shown in his writings that this was a cover for freemasonry. And we know what the freemasons think about anthroposophy. As well, we are dealing with the so-called “american brotherhood”, which once imprisoned HPB for a time, and whose motives Rudolf Steiner clearly outlined for those interested in such things, ref. GA254.

        So, while R.S. Clymer is an obscure name today, it seems clear that Ehrenfried Pfeiffer met him about 20 years after the poisoning of Steiner. Yes, Pfeiffer was very ill when he returned to Dornach after nearly 20 years in the United States. He died on 30 November 1961. Clymer lived until 1966, which gave plenty of time for inquiries to be made.



      • As always, Meyer (Milestones) is preoccupied with the spiritualistic hegemony of the Anglo-American West (and the exclusion of the mediumistic Anglo-Indian East):

        “… it confirms the line of enquiry that points to the USA, although the American lady mentioned by Stein seems only to have been the `messenger’ or carrier of the poison.”
        So, there’s a commissioner, a messenger/carrier and an executor.

        In Steiner’s familiar surroundings in 1924 Russians (like the graphic artist Assja Turgenieff) were present, and Americans too (like the painter William Scott Pyle, in August 1924 married to Steiner’s housemate, the painter Mieta Waller).


      • wooffles

        This gets curiouser and curiouser.

        None of the original oddities of this anecdote go away with the addition of a name. The name itself only heightens the oddity of Meyer’s investigative passivity. Paul Gerhard-Bellmann’s obituary, by Meyer, is at Perseus. Meyer knew him from the middle 1980s and talked with him a great deal about anthroposophy’s history. In the obituary, Meyer claims that he kept Bellmann’s name concealed when he originally wrote about the meeting to avoid “unnecessary discussions” or “attacks.”

        So Meyer took it upon himself to decide what were and were not unnecessary discussions about this event.

        Having decided that no one else was going to go to his source, during all this time, Meyer really took no further steps to try to learn more about the event and about the occurrences said to have been revealed in it?

        He did not contact anyone else who had been in Dornach during that period?

        He did not contact any of Pfeiffer’s associates to see if he could learn anything from them?

        He did nothing at all to see if he could corroborate the information Bellman had given him or follow the leads that it opened up?

        Or if he did, why did he not share any of it with his readers?

        This is not how a historian, or anyone with a passionate, objective interest in anthroposophy’s history, would work.

        It can be contrasted with Steve Hale’s entirely normal reaction of champing at the bit.


      • Wooffles wrote:

        “It can be contrasted with Steve Hale’s entirely normal reaction of champing at the bit.”

        Of course. It is in my nature to look that these things when they come up. T.H. Meyer has gained a kind of latitude somehow in writing, editing, and publishing books about Rudolf Steiner with his own publishing company, which helps make it kind of easy to get it done! Many more of us go with unpublished manuscripts, which will never receive approval simply because of the bureaucracy of the publishing business.

        Yet, in this matter concerning the knowledge of who might have poisoned Rudolf Steiner, it does seem lax on the part of Meyer not to be willing to provide more information. Not naming Paul Gerhard-Bellmann as the transcriber of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s last testament there in Dornach in the late 1950’s is acceptable when we consider that the book on Pfeiffer was published in 2010, and Gerhard-Bellmann died the next year. This made it possible for Meyer to reveal the name in “Milestones”, which was published in 2012.

        And yet, as we have heard, Meyer is still unwilling to reveal the name of the alleged poisoner, as if it has all been said, and he refuses to say more, although he most likely does know. I suspect that is why Jeremy received the clues to name Reuben Swinburne Clymer from the book. He says that Meyer gave the indications from certain details, and this is likely Meyer’s way of saying something of importance without committing himself.

        In this other book, which was published in 2008, two years before the book compiled by Thomas Meyer, Dan McKanan states that Pfeiffer met Clymer in 1944.

        Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism
        Dan McKanan, Chapter 1, pgs. 58, 59.

        So, it leaves us at this stage with nothing but speculation. Time for a new topic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think there is a little more which can be said. The following account by Ilona Schubert is quoted in Thomas Meyer’s “Milestones”:

          “I was coming through the corridor with a cup of tea in my hand when the curtain which shut the corridor off from the hall opened suddenly, and Dr Steiner approached me on unsteady feet, white as a sheet and moaning loudly. I quickly put down my cup and found him a chair in the nick of time. He said only: ‘I am feeling so unwell.’ I wanted to fetch Frau Dr Steiner and Dr Wegman, but he kept a firm hold of my hand and said: ‘No, stay with me – please fetch me water, water.’ Fraulein Mitscher, who came up at that moment, ran quickly to fetch it. I could not leave him as I was supporting him with my arm. He drained the glass of water that Fraulein Mitscher gave him. We asked what had happened and he said: ‘I have been poisoned.’ It was clear that he was in terrible pain: he was ice-cold and covered in perspiration. Fraulein Mitscher, Frau Turgenieff, who had by now joined us, and I decided to get help. Frau Dr Steiner came from the hall and asked what had happened. Dr Steiner said to her, ‘I have been poisoned – how are the other Vorstand members?’ Frau Doktor told him they were all conversion calmly; it was only she who had been worried that he had stayed away so long. With some difficulty we then took Dr Steiner to his room and put him to bed on the sofa. Then Frau Turgenieff fetched Frau Dr Wegman (…) After a while, Frau Doktor emerged from the room and said Dr Steiner was asking us to say nothing to anyone. Dr Steiner was then taken home to Villa Hansi, and after medical treatment and a milk cure he soon felt better.”

          Meyer also quotes Anna Gertrud Huber, who said that the roll (cake) was baked at the Sonnenhof and served by a ‘garden boy’ from there who had ‘shot at an American lady’. Huber also says that according to another participant at the Christmas Foundation Meeting, ‘a highly poisonous substance had been inserted into a very small coffee bean, and the latter then hidden in a sandwich.’

          Meyer has also found a note by Walter Johannes Stein, who wrote: ‘A lady who then disappeared to America, poisoned Dr Steiner with arsenic, the poison of the Borgias. She fed the poison to a pig, prepared the poison from the pig’s blood, and put it into the cream filling of a pastry.’ Meyer says that we do not learn from where Stein got this information, but that he had concluded his note with the words: ‘Dr Steiner forbade any pursuit of this lady.’

          From all this, it now seems to me that it is likely that Steiner was the victim of an attack by poisoning, carried out by people who did not intend to kill him but did want to end his active work. They did not succeed, because somehow Steiner managed to give his planned lecture that evening, despite the grave effect that the attack had had on him. For whatever reason, he wanted to keep the whole incident secret.

          What is particularly interesting about the information that Ton Majoor has brought earlier in these comments, is the suggestion that Steiner was poisoned not by arsenic, as W J Stein had said, but that the more likely substance was phosphorus. The fact that Steiner was talking in a lecture to the workmen just a few weeks later about the effects of phosphorus poisoning and the use of water and milk as antidotes, seems to me highly significant.


      • wooffles

        Since Walter Johannes Stein has come into this discussion, I’ll throw this out. John Davy (this is approaching ancient history, but he has his own Wikipedia page) once told me how you could listen enthralled to Stein talking about how he discovered an ancient manuscript in some castle and about what he found in it (or words to that effect), but the problem was that you were not entirely certain that it had actually happened.


      • ‘A lady who then disappeared to America …’ (Stein, according to Meyer)
        One all-American lady, a eurythmist, is known in the German biography collection http://biographien.kulturimpuls.org/list.php. In the beginning of 1924 she returned to the USA.

        Symptoms of phosphorus intoxication (GA0313/19210415) in their last stage can be linked to heart failure:
        “… destruction of the epithelium, fatty degeneration extending to the muscle fibers — especially the striated muscle fibers, for the ego acts especially on these — disintegration of the blood corpuscles, and so on.”

        CSSP (yellow phosphorus) was used for baiting of feral pigs, but is now considered an inhumane method.


      • Jeremy,

        For a complete record here, I would like to post links to 3 of my translations of the poisoning accounts which also include the original German text for immediate comparison. I did the translations in 2004 and posted them on the Waldorf Critics Yahoo group in 2009.

        The first account is the one by Marie Steiner as recorded by Lidia Gentilli.

        The second account is the one by Ilona Schubert, the young (18 yrs old) Eurythmy student. (BTW, Jeremy, the translation you quote from the Meyer Milestones book is by Matthew Barton, so you can compare his to mine.)

        The third account is not an eyewitness account, but is significant because it is the first public mention of the incident by a member of the Vorstand, Rudolf Grosse, who published it in 1976 in his book about the Christmas Conference. Factually speaking, he corroborates much more the account of Ilona Schubert than Marie Steiner but as might be expected, he also presents Herr Doktor as “Steiner-Superman” (or is it “Super-Steinerman?”) for vanquishing the poison and then going out and giving the best lecture of his life. As you read in his last sentence, Herr Grosse also implies quite strongly that the poisoning was an “inside job.”




      • Antonio Magnus wrote
        One all-American lady, a eurythmist, is known in the German biography collection http://biographien.kulturimpuls.org/list.php. In the beginning of 1924 she returned to the USA.

        Ton, why did you give the homepage only of the German biographical collection and fail to identify this mystery American Eurythmist? Who is she?


      • Tom, “Milestones” was published in 2012, I’ve only read the concluding Meyer-quote on the American lady in books.google, p.149. I added ‘eurythmist’ on account of Schubert.

        Didn’t Meyer himself (or anyone else since) try to identify the American lady in the Stein-quote five years ago? Was it because apparently there are two contradicting versions of the rumour (by Stein and by Huber)? Did Meyer want to keep his popular anti-Americanism ambiguous?


        • …and there I was, hoping that you had managed to identify the poisoner!

          As far as I’m aware, Meyer does not identify this American lady. But it seems fairly clear that, if R. S. Clymer was the instigator, then he had someone who was at the Christmas Foundation Meeting to carry out the attack on his behalf. Since the tea party was for eurythmists, then it may have been one of them; or it may have been (more probably was) the person who served Steiner the pastry, i.e. the ‘garden boy from the Sonnenhof’.


      • Well, “Anfang 1924 ging Arvia nach Amerika zurück.“: In the beginning of 1924 Arvia went back to America. (Search biography: Amerika eurythmie 1924). But what is the exact status of Meyer’s Stein-quote ‘A lady who then disappeared to America …’? Is it published elsewhere?


      • But on the disappearing lady, see also Barnes (2005) oRBU8oERXVwC:
        “Both Arvia and Irene were present in Dornach for the Christmas Foundation Meeting at the end of 1923. Following the Christmas Meeting, when Irene Brown returned to this country in 1924 …”


        • So Ton, are you suggesting that Arvia Mackay Ege or Irene Harriet Brown could have been the poisoner?

          Re Meyer’s quotation from W J Stein, I will look up the exact reference later today when I have “Milestones” in front of me. But if I recall correctly, he said that this was from the foreword to a book by Marie Steiner.


      • Yes, that is the consequence of Stein’s alleged note. Both weren’t eurythmists themselves. Brown died in 1934, Mackaye in 1989.


      • wooffles

        In view of all the speculation that is taking place here, the most notable comment in the account by Rudolf Grosse that Tom linked to is “To this day, we are still in the dark concerning whoever was the perpetrator or perpetrators of this attack.”

        Frank Smith is right that all that the documents cited by Meyer that Jeremy has thrown into the mix demonstrate is that rumors were flying fast and furious in Dornach about the alleged poisoning, which is not surprising. Grosse was in a position to have heard of these rumors at the time, so his blunt summary is worth keeping in mind.

        Grosse was also in a position to have known about any supposed heavily attended meetings with Ehrenfried Pfeiffer in Dornach in the late 1950s, which makes that emphatic quote doubly interesting.


  22. Luke

    Hi Steve Hale – what kind of relation does freemasonry have towards anthroposophy ? I think Steiner lectured some freemason groups at one point, but I’m a relative outsider to all of this. Thanks.


  23. Very informative article on John Davy here:

    Ref. “Since Walter Johannes Stein has come into this discussion, I’ll throw this out. John Davy (this is approaching ancient history, but he has his own Wikipedia page) once told me how you could listen enthralled to Stein talking about how he discovered an ancient manuscript in some castle and about what he found in it (or words to that effect), but the problem was that you were not entirely certain that it had actually happened.” ——Wooffles


    • Luke

      Thanks, Steve. By ‘relation’ I’d originally meant just ‘attitude towards’, particularly but not with sole reference to the hostility implied by the linking of freemasons with the burning of the Goetheanum (the ‘cabal’, mentioned above), and if/whether there is any belief that this was related also to Rudolf Steiner’s death, but understand that might need to be understood in a larger framework (however much something like a ‘précis’ would be preferred). As an outsider, positively disposed to many aspects of anthroposophy, difference to and distance from freemasonry is something to be regarded positively. Thanks for the links and suggestions.


      • Luke, you have to find your own relationship to Freemasonry, as Steve says, by looking deeper into it.
        Rudolf Steiner, on the surface, was affiliated to the Memphis-Misraim Order of Freemasons when he wrote his ritual texts for the first three degrees “Recently I found it necessary to include in my occult work something which one could, in certain respects, see as tending in the direction of occult freemasonry.” You can read the ritual texts in ‘The New Cain’ and learn why Steiner apparently tore them up in 1916.
        Another interesting resource is a series of lectures by Walter Leslie Wilmshurst who was a mason living at the same time as Steiner. And reading through the other material on the site, one gains another perspective on Freemasonry –


        On a personal note, last year I made quite a few visits to Hexagon House in Surbiton, the British Federation of the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women, Le Droit Humain. I visited various Lodges during their ‘Festive Board’ period and was always warmly welcomed. I also attended an open ritual by Lodge St. Germain, a celebration of St. John’s Midsummer Festival. It was interesting to be in the Masonic Temple and experience the ritual, the seven of us who were not Freemasons thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards, I discovered that one of the masons in the room was a Waldorf teacher; and apparently, anthroposophists are dotted around in various Lodges….
        “In Freemasonry the occultist has something very remarkable, something unprecedented, for it has something primeval in its foundation. It belongs to the most ancient of traditions, which has preserved almost a hundred degrees,in a precisely specialised structure, in spite of the fact that it has lost nearly all of its content, and that none of those belonging to it in Europe are able to form an adequate conception of it. But still: the thing is there and one will only need to fill the whole outer husk with new content. The thing is there, waiting to be brought to life again.” RS
        … whilst driving home, it occurred to me, anthroposophy, even if indirectly, might be playing a small part in the renewal of Freemasonry…. just a thought!


      • “Rudolf Steiner, on the surface, was affiliated to the Memphis-Misraim Order of Freemasons when he wrote his ritual texts for the first three degrees.”

        Rudolf Steiner felt the need to explain his relationship to this order in a final chapter to his autobiography after the onset of his fatal illness. What it explains coincides exactly with what had been given out to the workmen in his final lectures, e.g., earth as a rounded tetrahedron, GA354. “Workman” in this context refers to those receiving the Memphis-Misraim rite with questions and answers given with complete openness.

        A workman is someone who helped build the first Goetheanum, and now waits for further instructions. Steiner saw this need, and so gave special lectures designed to invite lively questions and answers after the demise of the building, which these had worked to complete. Most questions were of a scientific nature, such as the one about volcanoes, which elicited the response about how the earth became a rounded tetrahedron. Pyramids are a testimony to the fact that the earth is configured this way. Memphis-Misraim knew of this correspondence, and this is why Steiner conveyed in this manner to the workers.

        Steiner’s explanation of his reason to take charge of this order is given here. Interestingly, what was taken and accepted in 1906 didn’t bear fruit until 1923, and after the fire. Read on dear comrades:


  24. I also find Grosse’s interpretation of the poisoning, or rather his acceptance that it actually took place, interesting. I knew Grosse when he was a Vorstand member (no, never had tea with him) and found hm to be a most agreeable and open person. But that’s another story. The only evidence for poisoning is Steiner’s own words: “We (or I) have been poisoned.” Assuming he actually said that, it could well be the kind of exclamation one would make like: “Oh, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten than cheeseburger; I’m poisoned!” Steiner vehemently denied the rumors going around that he had been poisoned, so why should we presume otherwise? Tomfortas may have hit the jackpot with the idea of people wishing to sanctify Steiner. It should also be borne in mind that the “rout” took place in January 1924. In March 1925 Steiner died for unknown causes. 64 was an ungodly young age for the death of a saint. So some conspiracy had to be found by and for the faithful. It is possible that he was already ill at the tea time and the sudden illness was the first symptom.


    • Frank, I think you would be hard pressed to prove that “Steiner vehemently denied the rumors going around that he had been poisoned, so why should we presume otherwise?” Rather, by all accounts, he ordered silence on the part of all witnesses, and never spoke of it again.

      In 1944, Marie Steiner finally produced the first German edition of the complete proceedings of the Christmas Conference of 1923, after waiting 21 years. In the Foreward here, she somewhat attempts to explain the delay, and also writes this:

      “But our human karma and that of the Society burst upon him the very minute the Christmas Foundation Conference had been brought to a close. On that last day, 1 January 1924, he suddenly fell seriously ill. At the social gathering with tea and refreshments, described as a ‘Rout’ on the programme, he was struck down as though by a sword aimed at his very life. Yet he continued without intermission and with boundless energy to be active until 28 September, the day on which he spoke to us for the last time. His failing physical forces were nourished by spiritual fire, indeed they were borne by this fire and grew beyond themselves. But at the last, after superhuman achievements during the month of September, the power of this inner flame finally devoured him too.”


      It wouldn’t be for another 33 years that the CC of 1923 would be taken up again by Rudolf Grosse, who succeeded Steffen and Wachsmuth after their deaths in 1963. As President of the GAS, he is known for expelling members who even tried to question the burning concerns that had festered for many years regarding the constitution issues of 1923. [but that’s another story]. In 1976, he wrote his book, “The Christmas Foundation: Beginning of A New Cosmic Age”.

      Interestingly, the 1977 English version of the book does not contain this last sentence about the perpetrator(s) likely never to be known or found.


    • In light of the massive heart attack a year later, the symptoms could also point to a previous heart attack during the rout party, food poisoning being excluded. In the welcome speech to the rout-party (in GA 260) Steiner used the expression ’with a pain-touched heart’.


    • wooffles


      So far, this discussion has been like Hamlet without the main character showing up.

      Frank has characterized what Steiner said as “Steiner vehemently denied the rumors going around that he had been poisoned.”

      Steve has characterized it as “by all accounts, he ordered silence on the part of all witnesses.”

      In your previous posting, you summarized what you read in Emmichoven as “The “poison theory” was dealt with indisputably, once and for all, by Steiner himself” and said that Steiner issued three reports that were too long to include.

      I couldn’t find anywhere on line that discusses what Steiner himself actually said about it, besides his initial outburst. Any chance you, or anyone else, could be more specific?


      • Wooffles,

        I can’t consult Zeylmans van Emmichovens’ books until much later this evening but will try to find the time to reproduce some of Steiner’s three statements, in which he sought to rebut the rumours about his state of health. The question is whether Steiner and close colleagues such as Wegman and Wachsmuth were being truthful about what had happened. Steiner may have had particular reasons for keeping the poisoning incident secret (e.g. he did not want the instigator(s) to know they had succeeded); or he may have come to the conclusion that what he had at first assumed was a poison attack was in fact a medical emergency due to other causes. To the end of her days, Marie Steiner said that it was a poison attack, while Wegman, Wachsmuth and Noll denied this, at least in public. The jury is still out, but I’ve now come to the view that the balance of probability is that Steiner was indeed poisoned, and that this would have worsened his already shaky health and hastened the end of his life, though it was not the direct cause of his death.


        • Wooffles asked, in effect: “What did Rudolf Steiner himself have to say about whether or not he was poisoned?”

          According to J E Zeylmans van Emmichoven in Volume 1 of his 4-volume book Who Was Ita Wegman?, when Steiner heard that rumours were spreading among the members of the Anthroposophical Society that he had fallen victim to poisoning, he wrote three reports on his condition for the Bulletin Board and for the Newssheet.

          The reports as a whole are too lengthy to repeat here but I will pick out the most salient points from each. The first one, dated October 2nd 1924, is the shortest of the three and simply says: “My physical condition currently makes it impossible for me to engage in the physical strain, mild as that may be, which the giving of lectures would require.”

          The second, dated October 11th, is slightly more direct: “It seems that certain parties are spreading all manner of rumours regarding the present failure of my physical-bodily strengths. Now it would have been a comforting experience for me, if just on this occasion the rumour-mongers had not found a foothold in the anthr. circles. Now since this does not seem to have been the case, I find it necessary, unfortunately, to express a few words about the present failure of my physical-bodily strengths.” Steiner then goes on to say that it was not so much the activity of giving 60 lectures in a comparatively short space of time that had over-taxed him, but instead it was “the demands which come from the circle of members (which) simply go beyond one’s strengths. (…) this time the bow has been stretched too taut. But for now I ask the members to take this as a necessity of destiny, that I must, for some time, abstain from the activity of lecturing which I, too, enjoy so much.”

          The third report, dated October 19th, repeats the suggestion that the demands of members had caused his illness: “Perhaps, at this time, I may be allowed to express a request to my dear friends. I do not want my physical condition to become the object of all sorts of speculation. The fact of the matter is that although I was certainly up to the activity for the courses which have been so extensive during these last months, I had to over-extend the span of my own physical possibilities because of the overwhelming requests coming from the members. Consequently, although I would certainly be able to manage every sort of spiritual activity, I cannot do even the least bit physically (…) One rarely considers how the overloading of time caused from outside can have disastrous consequences for one who is engaged in spiritually carried activity, and how little help it then is to use an automobile, if the time thus saved becomes part of the scheduled programme. But ultimately, all this has to be understood according to destiny (karma).”

          It is apparent from this third report that some of the members had been resentful about Steiner and his wife having use of the headquarters car. But what is also noteworthy is that none of these three reports deals directly with the poisoning rumour, and instead Steiner puts the blame on the members for their relentless demands on him for advice and guidance.
          Ita Wegman, Steiner’s main physician, also took this line, writing to one correspondent:

          “Dear Miss Merry,

          (…) Excuse me for not having responded to your letter sooner. After the London trip the courses began here immediately. Once again there were a great many people here, all of whom wanted something. Dr Steiner again gave very many lectures. However, this time it was too much, not the lectures themselves, for these cause Dr Steiner no exertion, but all the additional things: the people, their questions, his disappointment that the members are still so firmly stuck in their baby shoes, etc.”

          Was this party line the entire truth? I don’t think so, but nearly a century later, who can say what the real story was?


    • Schubert (1970) gave the most detailed description of the possible heart attack, which was caused by a poisoning, or was wrongly taken for a poisoning but actually caused by the demands of members:
      “… Dr. Steiner came right at me staggering, white as a sheet and groaning violently … You could see that he was in terrible pain, he was ice-cold and dripping with sweat.”


  25. wooffles

    It’s really helpful for you to have gone to all the trouble of posting these excerpts. I can see that it looks like a “balance of probability” issue, not something that can be settled conclusively.

    On the other hand, meanwhile, I found another reason why for Meyer it’s so important to be absolutely certain that this was poisoning and not leave it to “balance of probability” cross winds. He explains here: http://www.perseus.ch/PDF-Dateien/Brandvergiftung.pdf

    Long and short of it is that it is important to study the poisoning and arson and the occult forces behind them because the same forces are covertly at work today against the renewed work of Rudolf Steiner, which I assume means Meyer’s agenda. Being for RS means being militantly and vigilantly opposed to the vast conspiracy against him, to which Meyer and Perseus are the guides. Against that vast multi-force conspiracy, which, I hadn’t realized until browsing the Europäer, engineered the (fake) Apollo moon landing, Putin stands in the breach, while Christian Clement is its Trojan horse.


    • I think that we are now approaching a Mystery, one of many in Rudolf Steiner’s life, and in my view an issue that is still very current today; and that is the phenomenon of demonic attacks, i.e. attacks from the spiritual world which can have very real effects in the physical world. I feel another blog post coming on…


    • In a letter dated 2 October 1924, Rudolf Steiner wrote to Marie, who was away on a eurythmy tour, about his illness. He says it was the needy theologians, and the course he gave them in September, that took its toll. Also, he tells why he needed the car. From GA262:

      “I hear from M. Waller-Pyle that you are traveling to Eisenach today; I hope that the journey goes well and that Hanover is not too exhausting. This is just the problem; on the one hand these theologians are really deeply satisfying because of their serious work, but on the other, working with them is so exhausting because they need so much and have such difficulty in achieving their ideals. Certainly, at the end of the Apocalypse course all my strength in a certain direction was exhausted – to reach that spiritual level required a lot of strength – and I should not have had to suffer the onslaught of individual visits from these needy theologians. Lectures about speech formation, which I still held, did not make much difference. I can adapt the lectures, however many there are, to my strength.

      We have now been forced to make arrangements for me to stay up here in the Goetheanum; it is necessary because I really must take care. The drive up and down always negates the results of that care. So I am here, and will remain here for as long as necessary. Dr. Wegman is doing everything in her power. I would have preferred to arrange all this in Hansi House of course. We discussed it when we saw that driving to and fro was impossible. But it is not possible to make all the bathing arrangements in Hansi House which are possible here. I have cancelled all lectures for the time being through a notice on the blackboard. For a long time now I have lost connection with my physical body to a certain extent. That has resulted in a fragile balance in the physical forces, which only respond when they are properly taken under control. The lack of connection with the physical body did not happen on course days, nor when I went to the clinic in between, because all that can be properly calculated by Dr. Wegman and myself; it was only when people overwhelmed me and I had to be available without any check on my strength. But then again, how sorry I was that the agricultural meeting did not take place. It would have been a good thing. Unfortunately, it was set for a time when my strength was already exhausted. It was extremely difficult for me on Friday to cancel a lecture for the first time, and Wegman had to fight for that cancellation; the decision was finally made when circumstances made it likely that I might have to cut it short. Now I am lying here and do not move one inch from the warmth.

      Well, everything will work out – it is so easy to help others with their health – I must appeal to others for help, particularly since these horrible hemorrhoids make it impossible to move.”

      Best wishes for the rest of your trip, affectionately


      • wooffles

        I can’t figure out what point you think that letter makes in connection with the rumors mentioned in the 2nd report. All that I can make of the connection is that the letter confirms what the report says– the rumors were not about how his health was being undermined by his work with the members, they were about his health being undermined by something else.


  26. Steve Hale

    The main point was to indicate that RS had written a letter to MS on the same day, and specifically points out that it was the Apocalypse course to the priests that exhausted him to the breaking point. He also writes her in relation to the 2nd report on October 11, but only indicates that rumors are floating about.

    What I cannot account for is J E Zeylmans van Emmichoven’s assertions in his book that Steiner is denying the poisoning. Nowhere in Steiner’s letters to Marie Steiner, who was away from October to November 1924, does he refer to any cause other than his bodily reaction to the fire of January 1, 1923.

    Jeremy cites Zeylman’s vehement assertions here:

    So, I get the sense that this is to protect Ita Wegman; that she was not involved in treating Steiner for any poisoning, although reasonable indications are that she was there at the rout on January 1, 1924. Her personal silence only proves the order not to speak about it. The letters in GA262 never indicate anything about poison. but only about the effects of the burning of the Goetheanum.


    • Steve Hale

      Relative to the second report of 11 October 1924, Steiner writes to Marie this:

      “The daily hemorrhoid operations are not at all pleasant and hurt abominably; they have resulted in quite an improvement however. But everything can make only slow progress.

      In addition, the anthroposophists seem to talk such a lot of nonsense about my illness; versions are being circulated again which can only cause bad blood. Even poor P. Trinchero is being mentioned in connection with the affair.

      Well, I am going to be forced to say a few words on the blackboard here about the real situation: To begin with, one works out what strength one has for the courses; that is the limit. Recently, there just happen to have been a lot of courses. As a result, a greater effort was required for outside demands which had not been included in the calculations. And that resulted in the collapse of my physical body while all the other parts of my being were exceedingly lively and easy to handle. Everything is very clear. But this is an experience about which I am not at all pleased.

      My dear M., you ask whom I see apart from the people who are looking after me. But you see, that is just where I have to be careful. Since anybody is very exhausting to me. So this is all I can manage: Dr Wegman and Dr Noll are taking care of me. Olga comes to bring things and tidy up. I see Steffen when necessary, so that the ‘Goetheanum’ journal runs smoothly. […] Even Dr Wachsmuth has not been allowed in by me. He has to bring the things and they are returned to him via Dr Wegman. “ ref. GA262, 11 Oct. 1924.

      Thus, Wachsmuth did not see RS every day during his illness, as he was perceived as a very exhausting influence. And, if he was sitting in the back room with MS, according to her recollective testimony given to Lidia Gentili in 1947, then his own account given in his book on the life of Rudolf Steiner varies a great deal from hers.


  27. On the ‘balance of things’ it seems to me that Steiner wasn’t poisoned… “anthroposophists seem to talk such a lot of nonsense about my illness; versions are being circulated again which can only cause bad blood.” And this seems to be the case. He never said he was poisoned so why suspect he was, the flimsy testimonies from a couple of individuals decades later can’t be relied upon…
    For me, the most striking sentence is by Marie Steiner “But our human karma and that of the Society burst upon him the very minute the Christmas Foundation Conference had been brought to a close. On that last day, 1 January 1924, he suddenly fell seriously ill. At the social gathering with tea and refreshments, described as a ‘Rout’ on the programme, he was struck down as though by a sword aimed at his very life.” The “struck down as though by a sword” points to an occult event that cannot be explained in layman’s terms… and is it not possible that Steiner didn’t know fully what had happened to him… hence all the confusion.


  28. wooffles

    Or he said he was poisoned, as a spur of the moment reaction to something he ate, and then was appalled at the all the contradictory rumors that started flying around and what people were reading into his physical issues. And there is no way we can tell which interpretation is right for certain.

    That uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing. Its occurred to me about how if I were leading a Waldorf teacher training seminar, this could make a very good project, both for the practice of interpreting and contextualizing documents and as a gateway into the history of the anthroposophical movement, then and now.


    • Steve Hale

      Indeed. Whether Rudolf Steiner was poisoned or not by some attack coming from the side of the dark occult forces, or whatever, it remains certain that he died due to a progressively degenerative condition within his vital organism, and centered in his digestive-metabolic system. The terminal hemorrhoids give a clue that its cause could be related to the aggressive efforts to purge a perceived but unknown poison from his body with the event of 1 January 1924. Yet, poisons are known to have lingering effects which can eventually lead to death. I think all the clues can be found in those last letters documented in GA262. As well, careful reading of Marie Steiner’s foreword to the first publication of GA260 (previously cited), in 1944, is very important because it contains her perceived threats of attack going back to when Steiner returned from his first trip to England in nearly nine years, c. April, 1922.

      What is much more significant from an historical perspective is the premature death of Rudolf Steiner in 1925, when he fully intended to regain his health in order to serve his perceived destiny relative to the CC of 1923. Would anyone doubt that he intended to serve the initiatives coming out of that conference until at least 1933? Remember, he is the one that called for 21 more years of continuous anthroposophical development in order for the movement to become a worldwide entity, ref. GA258.

      Yet, I think it can be shown that occult forces with larger agendas stand behind all this, and the paradox is that Rudolf Steiner described it himself, and what his position was within it as the central and harmonizing power. As such, he had to accept a kind of compromise for his work, and only for a certain length of time. He knew it was up with the various threats first starting in Munich in May 1922, and leading to the fire at the end of that year, and then the sudden onset of illness a year later on the first day of 1924.

      What is interesting is that it involves two tea parties; one to indicate the beginning, and the second to indicate the end. Marie Steiner’s foreboding apprehension of something impending, evil and ominous to occur on the afternoon of 1 January 1924 cannot be dismissed. It is the only testimony we have in which possible foreknowledge exists of an attack on Rudolf Steiner. Yet, it was not prevented by an effort to take Dr. Steiner immediately out of the situation. Rather, by her own admission, she went to the back room and reclined with Dr. Wachsmuth. Why did she not intervene? That is the burning question.

      And yet, maybe this recent posting will help. It was written in response to an excellent question; one even called ‘Parsifalian’, which I would agree with:



      • Terminal haemorrhoids! That does sound like a very serious condition… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steve Hale

        Well, these kinds of hemorrhoids can be found in cases wherein a destruction of the alimentary canal has occurred. In Steiner’s case, his aggressive vomiting of the poison with water and milk caused extreme damage to the esophagus, which made it difficult to swallow food. Yet, he knew he had to eradicate the poison as much as possible. It was the lingering effects of the remnants of the poison that caused his collapse, and finally, his death.

        Why would the founder of anthroposophic medicine not know his own cure? That is why he hurried the good Dr. Wegman in rounding up all the milk available.


      • Tom Mellett

        Candidate Jeremy Smith!

        By articulating the magical mantric phrase: “Terminal Haemorrhoids” you have now proven yourself worthy to enter the innermost sanctum of anthroposophical intiation, where you may now seek to solve the Ultimate Mystery of Rudolf Steiner’s Beingness, a mystery known to the highest initiates at the Goetheanum who designate it as the true “Riddle of the Sphinxter.”

        Hollywood Tomfortas
        Hierophant to the Stars
        (and occasional asteroids)


      • Tom Mellett

        Touché, my worthy punmeister adversary! As the saying goes: “One bad pun begets another.” May I beg your moderator’s indulgence for one last round of punstering — and I promise to keep the wordplay within the topical boundaries here of Steiner’s haemorrhoids.

        Jeremy, did you know that, according to a story I heard from Frank Thomas Smith, there was an anthroposophical physician working at the Arlesheim clinic on a treatment for Herr Doktor’s piles?

        His name was Dr. Gottfried Butthurt and he developed an analgesic (;=)) remedy that was marketed by Weleda as Proktodoron.

        Unfortunately, I was never able to verify the veracity of Frank’s tale, so then we might refer to it as a “suppository.” (That is: a “supposed story.”)

        Fra Thomasius

        PS Ya gotta love the German word for “suppository” = Zäpfchen (What a tongue and lip-twister it is even for German native speakers! I dare you to pronounce it!)


    • It seems, that the main problem was the middle, rhythmical system, i.e. the intuitive faculty, was weakened in three consecutive years:

      Friday, 2 January 1925: “In the night, Rudolf Steiner had a heart failure.” (GA 260a). Nevertheless, that morning he received Leinhas with a few hours delay. Heart failure was also the official cause of death.

      The German booklet by Leinhas (1950) is on line …, except for his “Last memories” on the rout (cf. Prokofieff 2014).

      Click to access Leinhas-Aus-der-Arbeit-mit-Rudolf-Steiner-Auszug.pdf


  29. Midnight Rambler

    The Marie Steiner account raised a number of questions for me.

    “I was paralyzed with shock. He asked us immediately whether we had drunk anything, and as I said no, he also noticed that Dr. Wachsmuth didn’t [drink anything either], and so he [Steiner] gave a deep sigh of relief.

    `So it’s only me! That’s good!’ he whispered and then staggered into the room”

    If poison was really involved, and unless RS had a clear picture through his clairvoyant capacities that someone had slipped him a Mickey Finn, (seemingly not as he asked about whether MS Dr W were OK), then why didn’t they take the obvious morally responsible step to immediately warn everybody else at the tea party to not eat or drink anything ? Apparently this wasn’t done ?

    Maybe then RS concluded that because MS and Dr W were not affected, that nobody else would be affected, and that his symptoms were due to somebody deliberately slipping something into his own drink ?

    or maybe he realised it was not poison but something else ?

    Would the milk treatment cover any other kind of illness or attack ?


  30. Milk is used for lead poisoning.


  31. “M.d.M., I told you some time ago how, since January 1923, the link between the higher parts of my being and my physical body was no longer complete; living in the spirit I lost, as it were, the immediate connection with my physical organisation. Not with the physical world. On the contrary: my ability to make a healthy assessment of the latter grew stronger and also more comprehensive. But precisely because everything in the spiritual realm continued unhindered, also as regards the physical world, the hostile forces are making an assault on my physical body.”



    • I think the issue is one wherein the question is not, “who caused the poisoning”, but rather, “who could have prevented the poisoning”. As such, Marie Steiner’s testimony shows that she is the only one who felt this kind of apprehension. Her own remarks to Lidia Gentili proves this kind of foreboding, or even foreknowledge of the event. I believe that even Ilona Schubert’s account remembers how nervous and uncharacteristically apprehensive MS was that afternoon. This kind of corroboration can serve to prove cases.

      Now, when we consider Guenther Wachsmuths’s testimony about the infection of an ‘oriental poisoning’ of some sort, and how he was sitting there with MS when it occurred, then isn’t it interesting that when he had the opportunity to tell his own story in his book, “The Life of Rudolf Steiner”, that he denounced all of that as actually happening?

      And isn’t it even more interesting that Johannes Emanuel writes of this in his fourth volume on the life of Ita Wegman, and wherein he tries to uphold Wachsmuth’s account that it never happened. The pains that certain people will take to uphold the sanctity of Ita Wegman. Yet, she was there, and helped Steiner in the purging of the poison. Did she ever deny this? No; in fact she would have upheld her involvement in the process, and how he lived on.

      So, what is up with this work by J Emanuel van Emmichoven on the life of Ita Wegman? Does he think she can’t stand a little controversy? Maybe she didn’t say enough when she could have said it all.

      And so it goes…..



  32. A person who wishes to remain anonymous has sent me the following:

    Just want to add a short piece of text that I always felt is important, but surprisingly one hardly finds it referenced in any books on Steiner that describe the end of his life. The excerpt below is written by Ita Wegman, it was given in an address on 27 February 1931 in London (see Ita Wegman – Esoteric Studies – The Michael Impulse).
    “I am firmly convinced that Rudolf Steiner would have become better had it not been needful to cut short this earthly life and take over the direction of world events from another plane. Even during his illness he still made very many plans .. [.. examples .. ] .. All these were surely things which gave one hope that his health would recover. But one day he said that everything would take a different course, that I had to have very great courage to carry out what the future demanded of me. He had not been completely followed, he said, sadly but still lovingly, like someone who had forgiven and had already turned his thoughts to other and greater life tasks. This was the turning point, as if a heavenly council had taken place which had decided on the future, binding on Rudolf Steiner ..”

    That is what I wanted to add. Now as to positioning why I feel the above is relevant to this discussion:
    The life and mission of high initiates is not quite like that of most human beings, and this also goes for their birth and death. An illustration of that is Franz Bardon who came and went in rather special ways.
    In my humble opinion the above excerpt has to be put in perspective of what Steiner explained about the ‘White Lodge’ or also the ‘Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings’, that unites the group of high initiatives that are guiding the development of mankind (see lectures in the period 1905-1909, ai 1905-03-16, 1905-10-21, 1907-03-07, 1909-10-25, 1909-08-31). My suggestion is one should also read, at least for perspective, the last chapter of the occult novel Frabato that Franz Bardon dictated. There are various versions of this book, and also rumours about which published version corresponds to the authentic manuscript (Dieter Ruggeberg has clarified on this matter), but anyway: in onechapter the structure of that White Lodge is described (eg the twelve main adepts working with seventy two masters, etc), as well as a meeting whereby initiatives receive their mission. Rudolf Steiner also referred to such meetings in his lectures, and described some members by their well-known earthly names (see the above mentioned lectures).
    It is my personal belief that Rudolf Steiner, but also Franz Bardon (1909-1958, aka Master Arion), Peter Dounov (1864-1944, aka Beinsa Douno), and Stylianos Atteshlis (1912–1995, aka Daskalos) are all members of the greater circle of this lodge, say the 12+72. In fact if one studies their teachings and interviews, also Beinsa Douno and Daskalos make explicit reference and descriptions of this White Lodge that are remarkably consistent with what Steiner and Bardon described.
    To conclude: asked in an interview about Rudolf Steiner, Daskalos described that he knew Rudolf Steiner for a very, very long time, and was in regular contact with him. Also that both himself and Steiner belonged to the same Christian stream. And then literally: “We are working together. There is no difference between my teachers and those by Rudolf Steiner”. Daskalos also said on Rudolf Steiner: “He is a very high being, one of the highest beings at all.” (Source: interview Daskalos by Günther Zwahlen on 13 August 1990 in Switzerland, published in ‘Goetheanum’ No 34 of 3 December 1995).


    • Dear Jeremy,
      I thought that there might be a comment or two on this very well-considered posting from your anonymous writer, and I think the words IW speaks from London on 27 Feb 1931, give an important indication of her perceived mission:

      “I am firmly convinced that Rudolf Steiner would have become better had it not been needful to cut short this earthly life and take over the direction of world events from another plane. Even during his illness he still made very many plans .. [.. examples .. ] .. All these were surely things which gave one hope that his health would recover.”

      I abbreviate the full quote in order to address her opinion that his life was cut short by demonic forces with the specific intent to end his work on earth eight years before 1933. This is assuredly true, and in no way undermines the evidence of a “sudden illness” occurring on 1 January 1924, with further testimony that he was poisoned on that day. I feel that she was involved that day in helping to eradicate the poison, and as a medical doctor had a further responsibility to report it to the authorities as a criminal matter. As well, as a doctor, samples of the substance purged from Rudolf Steiner’s system should have been taken in order to analyze the nature of the poison, as well as its source, i.e, morsel of cake, tea, or other beverage. This could have helped further isolate the source, and even lead to the cause. Possibly, J E Zeylman van Emmichoven wants to deter and detract from this responsibility on her part by vigorously denying that it ever occurred.

      And, of course, she never did actually admit it happened. Here is a photo of her on March 21, 1925, as she watches RS slip away.

      This book is worth reviewing [first 35 pages gives a good introduction] for the apparently close mission of Rudolf Steiner and ita Wegman.

      Personally, I would have loved to see Ita Wegman lead the charge for “going forward” with the full force of the CC of 1923, but she never had a chance with Marie Steiner, who had the last will and testament of Rudolf Steiner, and a firm commitment to maintain the legacy system.


      • Thank you, Steve. There have been many comments on this posting, and the list of them is now so long that it is quite unwieldy to work with. So I think what I shall do, as soon as possible, is to write another post summing up where we are with the poisoning issue and to quote some additional information which has come my way.

        Best wishes,



  33. So Steiner WAS poisoned after all,,,,,and we can also guess if the side effects of such a poison were also at work in the middle of every other cause for his death. ,,,,,About the poisoning THomas H Meyer in his recent “Milestones in Rudolf Steinr’s Life” writes about an american woman, as the material agent for thst posinonig,,she was able ,, by the way of “female” means , to make a young clerk able to bring the poisoned cookie to Dornach… Thomas H Meyer wwrites also about many intersting and more important thnmgs about the merging of two streams, jesuit amd masonic, in the Burning of Goetheanum and he tries also to tell us why…. Andrea Franco author of a Steiner’s bio entitled “Chi ha avvelenato Eudolf Steinr.Biografia non autorizzata di un Grande Inziato”


  34. Martin

    An occult Teacher is not allowed to take both occult and secular positions as R Steiner did at the end of 1923. Perhaps this gave his opponents the chance to punish him by poisoning. Thank you all for this discussion! M


    • Andrea Franco

      The opponents did not need of this..the decision was thought and carried on before, since the performing of the first “Act of Consacration” inside the White Hall of Goetheanum (Meyer),and it was the conclusion of a road beginning in 1910-11 , when Steiner began to speak of the Etheric Christ and of the Jesuits…. Steiner had the PERMISSION of the Christ and of te Spiritual Powers to do what he did in 1923 andd 1924…we have the prrof of this..The whole flood of Spiritual Insights that we gave us, till his death in those years, in an unprecedented way….


      • martin

        Steiner received permission of the Christ and the Spiritual Powers to do what he did at the end of 1923 but ONLY afterwards in 1924. But initially he did NOT. …….. He was “punished” by his opponents, but not by Christ.


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