First Reader's Poll

twenty-five questions you have been dying to answer about your relationship to the Anthroposophical Society

Joel A. Wendt

Polling is a favorite American sport. This, the first, issue of Outlaw Anthroposophy must, therefore, run straight at this unique opportunity. Asking questions is also a way of communicating certain kinds of ideas, as well as cultivating and communicating a certain kind of attitude. The next issue will be completely devoted to the responses to this poll.
  1. Do anthroposophists have a sense of humor about anthroposophy or Rudolf Steiner? If so, please send us your favorite joke(s).
  2. Aren't you tired of the word anthroposophy? I mean, really, isn't it time we called our society and our work something which means something to people who are not members or friends? Isn't it a bit pretentious to have a name, for an organization, you have to explain?
  3. Was, or is, Rudolf Steiner perfect? If not, please send in examples of flaws you think he had or has.
  4. Are there any initiates now active in the Society? If you think so, send in their name (or names, as the case may be); isn't it time for such people to come out of the closet?
  5. Anthroposophy has been active in America for several decades now. Being that the American has different soul capacities from the Central European, could you please send in the list of "original" anthroposophical work that you have observed in America. Not derivative work, not Waldorf Schools or any other impulse which first appeared in Europe, but that which is unique to America.
  6. How important in your daily living is the guidance and lecture material that comes out of the Vorstand in Dornach? Please give concrete examples.
  7. The basis for the "authority" of the school of spiritual science is the supposed natural hierarchy of real capacities. What evidence exists that there is a sufficient differentiation of capacities so that the Vorstand has a right to lay claim to this natural order?
  8. If the anthroposophical society is dead, with what do you think we should replace it?
  9. Do you think some effort must be made to reform the formal Society?
  10. How would you suggest we go about such a task?
  11. Have you noticed any of these questions making you check out your own assumptions about anthroposophy and the Society? Please share some of those assumptions with us.
  12. Who would you vote for, as the future Maitreya Buddha: a) Steiner, b) Tomberg, c) me, d) your choice? Please include your basis for this vote.
  13. Are you superstitious?
  14. Where do you think Rudolf Steiner is right now and what do you suppose he is doing?
  15. If you were on the Vorstand, what would you recommend to the membership as we enter the 21st century?
  16. What question(s) do you think should have been added to this poll?
  17. Is it possible to define anthroposophy in some other way than Steiner did in the First Leading Thought? Please provide an example.
  18. What is your favorite Steiner idea or quote?
  19. Have you read, or are you trying to read, one book 50 times (as recommended by Steiner)?
  20. Which book?
  21. Will you lend me some money - include how much?
  22. Have you ever had the thought that the Christian Community priesthood bears on odd resemblance in its role with regard to the anthroposophical movement to that role played by the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus) in the organism of the Catholic Church?
  23. In the same vein (we are now cutting very deep, so perhaps it should be an artery), doesn't it sometimes seem like the Spirit of Rome (Steiner, The Challenge of the Times) has taken over our movement and installed Steiner as a kind of invisible Pope, whose sayings are infallible? (Dornach = Rome; the Vorstand = the Curia; the Class Readers = the Cardinals; the National Society leaders = the Bishops;...does it hurt yet?)
  24. What rights (or responsibilities) does (or should) the ordinary membership have in the creation of the future of the Anthroposophical Society?
  25. Imagine Rudolf Steiner before you, and Archangel Michael behind him, what would he (Steiner) say? Or would he just cry?
  26. Are not remorse and shame matters of moral development? Should we feel any of these emotions when we contemplate the current condition of the Society?
  27. Yes, I know I said 25 questions. But, I didn't say I could count.

When you send in your answers to this poll, please include a statement about whether we may give your identity to the extent we quote something you send in. For example: limit us to first name and last initial, no name or whatever.

[You can also write to Joel at e-mail
- Bob and Nancy]