Ianto Doyle has written to Stroud Life this week expressing surprise that there should be any objection to “a local business buying agricultural land for agricultural purposes”
He writes in reply to a partially published letter from me a few weeks ago where I pointed out the reasons why in my opinion the purchase of land at Hammonds Farm is not a good thing for Stroud.
He says he is bemused and confused, and does not understand why “biodynamical” is a problem.
He says “I looked at their website Stop Steiner in Stroud to try to understand better and came away even more confused”…I am definitely not an anthroposophist but I do support local businesses producing local products of all kinds…”
I will reply to Ianto here as well as writing again to Stroud Life; my last letter detailing the little known facts about biodynamics was rejected by the editor, Ben Falconer, who had also cut out the important part of my original letter about the use of animal organs in biodynamic vegetable production.
When I submitted a second letter I asked the editor to advise me if he considered any part of it unsuitable but I received no explanation for his decision not to publish any of it.
The Stroud News and Journal also edited out the details about animal organs, and when pressed for a reason why, said it “makes them look like maniacs”. When I supplied proof of these practices, the details were published.
Since the facts about the skulls, intestines and bladders were omitted from the Stroud Life letters page, it is on the face of it understandable that Ianto says he doesn’t understand my reasons.
Someone who writes expressing surprise that there could be criticism of anthroposophy without mentioning his involvement in the Steiner movement is not being entirely open.
I accept his statement that he is “definitely not an anthroposophist” but clearly he knows what anthroposophy is and that all the 40+ businesses in the area are connected by this belief system.
It is possible that someone new to this blog with no previous knowledge of anthroposophy could be confused, and I am working on a new “front page” now that the danger of a Steiner free school in Stroud seems to have receded. But surely someone like Ianto, having read the post about the animal entrails, and knowing full well that hardly any of the local population are privileged to know what he knows about anthroposophy, can see how some people might object to the further expansion of the Steiner movement in the area?
Some people will always support the Steiner movement for its alternative, colourful image and apparently harmless, back to basics attitude, and as long as they are not the victims, will never see its defects, and I imagine Ianto to be one of these. But he should nail his colours to the mast in a public discussion and admit his allegiance to the creed of Steiner. It is perfectly possible he does not know anything about the racist underpinnings and the damage that has been done in the name of alternative education. Perhaps now will be the time for him to do some research of his own.
Finally it is worth pointing out that the land at Hammonds Farm had not previously been used for agriculture, and the impact of a change of use by the Biodynamic Land Trust was debated by the Town council at their meeting in July. With a number of councillors present at the meeting supporting anthroposophy in various ways, despite objections, public money was spent on this project.
I too support local businesses and use local shops and markets, but I refuse to buy from an organisation that behaves like a cult, and one that I see behaving unethically and secretively. All local people should be allowed to make an informed choice about how they spend their money, and the facts about anthroposophy are still not widely known.