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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Anthroposophy A philosophy developed by Hungarian architect/artist/occultist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) that consisted of ideas very similar to those of H. P. Blavatsky, whose Theosophical movement Steiner had embraced in 1899. In 1902 he became secretary of the German branch of the Theosophical movement, but by 1913 he had broken with them and had formed his own group.
      A true mystic, Steiner claimed, as Blavatsky had, to be able to consult the Akashic records. He discovered spirits of all sorts everywhere and determined whether they were beneficial or malevolent. He was a devout believer in astrology, a trait he shared with the German poet Goethe, of whom he was a great admirer. He edited Goethe's nature writings for publication.
      Steiner's architectural designs, very distinctive indeed, are organic in appearance and can be found in many locations in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. The pleasant, natural lines and features of his designs are truly beautiful and appealing.
      In 1919, he developed the Steiner Schools (in some parts of the world known as Waldorf Schools, named after the German brand of cigarette known as Waldorf-Astoria) to teach his ideas such as “bio-dynamic agriculture” and “eurythmics,” a method of dance intended to portray music by movement. His educational method encourages children to seek out nature spirits and to merely observe, rather than closely examine or test, situations. Steiner came up with the notion that humans live their lives in seven-year cycles, and his educational plan is geared to that idea.
      To whatever extent the schools adapt Steiner's teachings on a more realistic and useful basis, the Steiner Schools treat retarded children through their clinics (known as Camphill Villages) that are supported by the system.

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