From the outset, my main reason for writing about Steiner in Stroud has been the secrecy and deception practised by those involved in running many of the 30+ business operations in the area.
Many local people have become involved without realising the nature of what they have got in to. That includes schools, colleges, kindergartens and also Camphill.
Looking at the websites for Camphill communities and colleges it would be very difficult to know that they had anything to do with Rudolf Steiner’s belief system “Anthroposophy”.
The word is mentioned nowhere on the website of William Morris House, for example, a large establishment with several houses looked after by House Parents in a similar way to the Camphill community at Botton, as featured in the tv programme.
Steiner’s name is mentioned, but only in connection with his so – called “Christian ideals”, and a vague mention of “spiritual uniqueness”.
And yet, a look at how Camphill functions – its day to day routines and “rhythms”, its festivals and its training for staff, reveals that anthroposophy is the raison d’etre for Camphill. The people who run these communities put anthroposophy at the centre of all their activities.
From the first paragraph in the prospectus of a Camphill training course;
“Through working out of the wisdom of Anthroposophy, we learn to reflect on the meaning of our life…”
This is followed by a list of the topics on offer during the course;
Understanding the Human Being out of Anthroposophy:
|The TemperamentsThe Order of Birth
The Threefold Human Being
The Fourfold Human Being
Karma and Reincarnation
The Twelve Senses
The Seven Life Processes
An Introduction to Curative Education
An Introduction to Diagnostics
The course information says the twelve senses are related to the 12 signs of the zodiac, and the seven life processes are related to the “seven main planets”.
All this is not described to families when they first apply for a place at a Camphill community, and I also believe that the colleges and communities hide behind a façade of Christianity which presents a veneer of respectability. Presenting a “Christian” image makes the whole enterprise acceptable to many more people than would a truthful depiction of the highly unusual, occult rituals and practices which actually take place in accordance with anthroposophy.
Any educational or caring environment which stated its adherence to astrology and karma would simply not be taken seriously by most people; so William Morris House, and all the other Camphill communities leave it out of their prospectuses.
Karma and reincarnation are not compatible with Christianity. A Christian blogger explains;
“Christianity believes in grace, not karma. They are two completely contradictory ideas, and you cannot logically believe in both. Karma says you get the reward or punishment that you deserve. Grace says you get the reward even if you deserve the punishment.”
The modules in the Camphill training course include
LIFE BEFORE BIRTH – OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE PLANETS
The child only comes physically naked into the world. Spiritually it brings gifts and qualities. We will look at the different qualities of each planet that our prebirth journey takes us through.
KARMA AND REINCARNATION
The soul’s immortality and its repeated earthly births are not new ideas, in Western thought. Rudolf Steiner viewed the revealing of reincarnation and karma as one of his most important life tasks.In the first session we will give an introduction to this theme and in the second session we will look at the shaping of our own personal destiny.
LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND REBIRTH
While western humanity has conquered the outer world with the aid of technology and natural science, the mysterious question of death is still largely shrouded in fear and remains an insoluble riddle. From his own highly developed clairvoyance, Rudolf Steiner was able to spiritually research the question of what happens to human beings after their physical bodies pass away. We will give an introduction to this subject and open up a conversation.
Needless to say the reading list comprises exclusively anthroposophical titles.
“Camphill” is big business in the Stroud area, with properties scattered all around. Clearly there is a demand for they kind of care provided by these institutions, and Steiner have cornered the market. But it should be the right of residents, students and their families to know about the kind of environment in which they will be required to live.
Once someone has settled in to a community – or into a school or college – it is not so easy to simply move somewhere else.