“He who takes wine…”

The minutes from Thursday’s meeting about the proposed sale of Tipputs Inn to Steiner organisation Ruskin mill are now available on the Save Tipputs website.

They shed light on details of the proposal, emphasising that the deal is in its early stages. Comments may be found here.

Clearly there is great opposition to another local pub being acquired by an anthroposophical college and turned in to accommodation for “biodynamic students”. Among the points made;

“A clear definition needs to be made from Ruskin Mill of what a biodynamic apprentice actually is…”

I do not think a clear definition will be easy to come by…rarely do anthroposophists (and that is who we are dealing with at Ruskin mill) give clear definitions. Certainly our MP Neil Carmichael was unaware of the ritual procedures carried out in biodynamics when I spoke to him recently; perhaps he is better informed now.

Biodynamics is explained here and here and is much more than the environmentally friendly version of agriculture that the Steiner people would like to present to us.

A picture on the Stroud Community Agriculture website of participants ritually stirring a large pot of cow dung before stuffing it into cow horns to be buried in the field has now been removed, sadly. That is the basic formula – astral forces are supposed to assist in the growing of the crops, and additional help from elemental beings is also requested by the biodynamic “students”.

Sometimes field mice are skinned, burned, and the ashes spread on the soil. Sometimes deer bladders are filled with yarrow and strung up as pest control. Clearly parts from dead animals are significant in biodynamics

Among other points made at the meeting is the fact that there is already an “education centre” at the adjacent Gables farm, and Ruskin mill have recently laid off staff due to lack of students; there are questions over the need for more buildings by Ruskin Mill. The college also already runs a café, and doubt was expressed that another café would be viable.

It was also mentioned at the meeting that Ruskin Mill have a no alcohol policy. Many anthroposophists are teetotalers – alcohol interferes with spiritual development.

Spiritual Science is Practical explains;

Wine was that which separated man from everything spiritual. He who takes wine cannot arrive at the spiritual.”

It is a fact inwardly perceived through Spiritual Science that when a person drinks alcohol, it takes over the specific activity that otherwise belongs wholly to the person’s ego.”

Perhaps the buying up of pubs has a “higher purpose” than simply the acquisition of extra property – perhaps they object to pubs operating in the vicinity of their businesses, and this is their way of eliminating the evil effects of alcohol?

A community meeting held by Ruskin Mill will take place in April or May, where the thoughts and feelings of the community will be listened to.




  1. Helen

    I would like to make a suggestion to the Save Tipputs group; that they invite Bernard Jarman along to the community meeting. As a “consultant” in biodynamics and Head gardener at Hawkwood, he will be able to confirm the rituals he carries out, the reasons behind them, and presumably, if asked, would describe what a “Biodynamics apprentice” is.

    In the meantime, an American shows off his collection of cow horns. As someone points out in the comments, “biodynamics is certainly not vegan”.

  2. Jim

    I can perhaps understand the “no alcohol” attitude where young, possibly disturbed, people are concerned, particularly in an agricultural workplace. But if it goes wider than that how on earth do we make sense of the fad among so many winemakers for biodynamics?
    Though it is commonly said you have to be mad ( or vain ) to invest in a vineyard…….

    Regarding Tipputs – I can’t help feeling it suffered over expansion some years back when the large dining room was added. And over the last couple of years food and service have both declined to the point where it is often nearly empty at lunchtimes. A pity, it used to be a favourite venu.

    • Helen

      I have come to realise there is actually no point trying to make sense of it all – but we can still marvel at the antics of Steiner followers, when we are not lost in the anthroposophical fog which threatens to envelop us.

      I wonder what the sign outside Tipputs “in association with Ruskin Mill” is supposed to mean?

  3. Steve

    It seems to me that the Tipputs were losing money and decided to sell. It makes business sense to sell to Ruskin Mill, and for Ruskin Mill it makes sense to buy it. I’m not sure what it is you find hard to “make sense of” as a business transaction.

    Sure, skinning of mice (??) and the rest may have happened 100 years ago but such rituals would not be tolerated at what is now an agricultural college for young people with learning and behavioural difficulties. This answers your last very obtuse spin on “no alcohol”. I suppose it added to your word count, but as Jim said it would be unwise (and illegal) to let 16 year-olds with additional needs get drunk on a farm.

    I agree that they don’t help themselves when it comes to explaining clearly what their goals are, but you do not add anything to the debate with badly researched, poorly written copy. Try harder next time.

    • Helen

      If you really think these rituals haven’t happened for 100 years you are very badly informed – and that is how the anthroposophists like us to be!

  4. Helen

    I always try hard with my posts, I like uncovering all the foibles of Steiner which they try to conceal.
    You may or may not be familiar with biodynamics – that is what is “taught” at Ruskin Mill. “The rest” certainly is tolerated at the college, since that is what biodynamics is – the stuffing of the cow horns with manure and the astrology and all of the rituals.
    If you read the comments on the “Anthroposophy” page you will see that the students participate in these rituals.
    I think Steiner’s attitude to alcohol is funny, that’s why I put it in!

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