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    A WEEK AND A HALF after Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, Jason Reza Jorjani took the stage at a white supremacist conference in Washington, D.C. Richard Spencer gave him an awkward hug and pat on the back before he shuffled to the podium and spoke into the microphone.

    “In light of the outcome of the recent election, in which I think the rise of the ‘alt-right’ was the decisive factor,” Jorjani said, “it is especially meaningful for me to be here with you as the leader of what is frankly the most significant press in the ‘alt-right.’”

    Jorjani and Spencer had not met in person until that November weekend at the conference, hosted by the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist “think tank.” The weekend was spiked with occasional Nazi salutes. Just the month before, Jorjani had become the editor-in-chief of Arktos Media, a publishing imprint for some of the most canonical texts of the far right. They soon combined forces in a shared office in a spacious loft in Alexandria, Virginia. To end any confusion over what the “alt-right” movement stood for and who its leaders were, Spencer, Jorjani, and Arktos chief executive Daniel Friberg launched the AltRight Corporation.

    But as quickly as Jorjani rose within the far right’s ranks, so too did he fall. A year ago, the “alt-right” was in a campaign to rebrand white supremacy as an intellectually sophisticated movement, backed by a troll army. Yet in 2017, the far-right saw its most publicly violent year full of street protests. Spencer himself seemed to have traded his glossy “think tank” networking events, like the one Jorjani appeared at, for white supremacist rallies. Spencer’s “college tour” began in 2016, according to Spencer, as a project of “intellectual activity” — but it frequently served to provide opportunity for his followers to publicly gather and shout “white power,” throw Nazi salutes into the air, and engage in violent battles with counterprotesters.

    In their earlier days, Jorjani and his business partners had tried to perfume their brownshirt musings as a style of opposition intellectualism worthy of fair debate in the public sphere. When I first met Jorjani in December 2016, at the height of his rise in the far right, he proudly told me, “What happened is that a hyper-intellectual, vanguardist movement used a U.S. presidential election to advance its agenda.” Over a plate of fesenjan, an Iranian stewed meat dish, and jeweled rice, he added, “The ‘alt-right’ doesn’t work for Donald Trump, it doesn’t work for the Republican Party, it doesn’t work for masses of Republican voters, and it certainly doesn’t work for evangelical Republicans.”

    An Iranian-American like Jorjani might seem to be an unusual figure to join the leadership of a white nationalist movement. But more than a year after joining forces with Spencer, Jorjani is now trying to distance himself from a movement that, by his own account, he helped design. It raises intriguing questions: The facade of white supremacist intellectualism has been steadily crumbling, but just how did this happen? And what’s next?

    Jorjani’s apartment is on the Upper West Side in New York City, N.Y. Photo: Polina Yamshchikov for The Intercept
    “I DIDN’T PUT that there,” Jorjani said when I first visited him in December 2016, pointing to an American flag sticker on the door of his Upper West Side, Manhattan apartment. “It was probably some scared Muslim guy after 9/11.”

    He smiled and shrugged, his teeth gapped and his hair combed back in a fluffy, slightly thinned pompadour. He looked younger than his 36 years. Were it not for a gently sloping paunch under his black turtleneck, he’d have the appearance of an adolescent playing an adult in a wool coat and professorial attire.

    He is no meme warrior: He stays away from far-right code words like “cuck” or “libtard”; his presence on Twitter is minimal. Above his bookshelf is a version of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” illustrated by Gustave Doré.

    Jorjani fancies himself a gentleman and has a cloyingly sentimental view of women. They are to be treated with “respect,” he says, but my experience of his “chivalry” was claustrophobia-inducing. During our interviews, for example, he insisted on paying for my dinners so forcefully that, during my multiple attempts to explain that journalists are not supposed to receive remuneration from sources, he screamed at me. “This is not a discussion! You can print that!” he yelled.

    Sitting in his living room, he offered to show me his private art collection: a Facebook album dedicated to his own works, as well as 226 other works of art he has gathered from the internet. The album is a mix of sexy sci-fi pulp; Surrealism; Italian Futurism; comic book hellscapes; paintings by Franz von Stuck, Hitler’s beloved painter; and several suggestive photographs of prepubescent girls taken by Jock Sturges, whose equipment and negatives were confiscated by the FBI.

    One drawing in the collection, by Frank Frazetta, can only be described as space babes fighting in space. Their fleshy forms jut out at fantastical angles that defy the figures of actual humans.

    “It’s space Amazons,” he said. “I think we should have a world of space Amazons.”

    “Why do you say that?” I asked.

    “They should be the ones that annihilate the last remnants of Islam,” he replied.

    Clicking through Jorjani’s album, I came across an image of a woman staring from underneath a niqab, her eyes intensely burning.

    “Oh, I thought those eyes were incredible,” Jorjani mused. “To me, it evokes the history of, you know, the kind of tortured life full of rage and shattered glass that’s inside of a woman who becomes a jihadi, or who joins that cause.”

    After Trump took the oath of office in 2017, Jorjani continued to enthusiastically promote his “alt-right” project and insisted on its influence within the White House. In February 2017, he told me that the movement would begin a lobbying campaign and work on influencing the Trump administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

    In the months before the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which Spencer and other partners in the AltRight Corporation attended, Jorjani’s alliance with far-right leaders began to crack. Just days after James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into peaceful protesters, leaving at least 19 injured and Heather Heyer dead, Jorjani resigned from the AltRight Corporation in a blog post. He did not mention the violence in Charlottesville in the post about his decision. Rather, he wrote that he was leaving to focus on an Iranian nationalist project that would “form the nucleus of a new regime, before rootless globalists and their Islamist pawns succeed in steering the collapse of the Islamic Republic in a direction that further erodes Iran’s territorial integrity and aborts its cultural rebirth.”

    But his leadership role in the far right would not be forgotten so easily.

    After his departure from the movement, Jorjani gained attention for comments he made to an undercover activist with the anti-racist organization Hope Not Hate, in a video published by the New York Times. In the footage, he implies that the “alt-right” movement would end in “concentration camps and expulsions and war”; with the wave of a hand, he said that it would come “at the cost of a few hundred million people.” He added that “We will have a Europe in 2050 where the bank notes have Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great.” After the video became public, Jorjani was placed on administrative leave from New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he had a teaching position. He claims that the quotes were libelous and the tape deceptively edited.

    Jorjani and I met again after the video was published. He insisted he wasn’t racist and pointed to what he said was his admiration for European Jews’ place in the “Indo-European tradition,” as well as his tolerance for black Iranians who were brought from Africa as slaves during the Persian Empire. As proof that he is not a “neo-Nazi genocidal maniac,” he handed me his second book, with chapter titles like “The Third World War,” “The Neo-Eugenic World State,” and “Aryan Imperium (Iran-Shahr).” He insisted that his vision of an Indo-European world was vastly divorced from Spencer’s atomizing white nationalism. “I am a globalist!” he exclaimed — merely one whose vision of the world is cleansed of Islam.

    It is not clear who Jorjani even considers Muslim. In his mind, Bosnia’s Muslims are Slavs who can be “easily excavated” from their religion. On the other hand, he believes hard-line Saudi Arabia and its inhabitants should be swallowed in a sea of flames to leave “a glass parking lot” on top of the desert. He has written that Iran’s “pre-Arab and pre-Mongol genetic character” would need to be restored through “embryo selection and genetic engineering” in order to “Make Iran Great Again.”

    Jorjani has a lot of fantastical ideas. In our earliest conversations, he expressed conspiratorial visions of the “deep state.” As if it were indisputable fact, he casually mentioned his belief that insect drones are currently in use by the NSA, surveilling us from mundane cracks and crawling under doors. In later conversations, he told me that private intelligence operatives promised him massive funds to take over the “alt-right” (a claim that could not be verified by The Intercept). In the New York Times video, Jorjani also claimed that Steve Bannon, Trump’s now-ousted chief strategist, was to be the “interface” between the AltRight Corporation and the White House.

    JORJANI WAS BORN in New York City to a family of prestige and means. While his mother comes from a working-class family of “northern European heritage,” he says his father is from a branch of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran before the last ruling family, Pahlavi, prior to the 1979 revolution. Jorjani says his father had “incidental communications” with the shah, performing in his palace with the rock band he formed as a teenager. Despite this lineage, Jorjani claims that “none of the wealth remained.”

    He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, and his Iranian passport describes him as “Shia Muslim,” though he hates Islam and doesn’t consider himself Muslim. Jorjani is also, by his own admission, a product of the American elite; he attended the Dalton School, one of the most exclusive private schools on the Upper East Side in New York City.

    After high school, Jorjani accepted a spot at Fordham University and transferred to New York University a year later. He frequently drifted to the extremes of thought, drawn to fringe science and taboo politics that were mocked by his academic peers. His master’s thesis was about how Islam, in his view, brings out the tension between democracy and universal human rights. “If you have an unqualified human right to freedom of religion, and you have an unqualified universal human right to democratic government — both of which you find in the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] — then it is perfectly legitimate for the majority of a country to elect a theocratic Muslim government,” he said to me in an explanation of his thesis. That government, he continued, “on the basis of the Quran, legitimately can say that freedom of religion should be banned. … You can use these loopholes to undermine the whole framework of universal human rights.”

    Jorjani likes to speak elliptically, making wide and often demonstrably false academic claims. Some are absurd, like his belief that the pyramids in the lost city of Atlantis were built through collective psychokinesis, while other inaccuracies are perhaps imperceptible to the untrained.

    Following Jorjani’s appearance at Spencer’s conference in Washington, a small controversy emerged about the dissertation Jorjani had written for his Ph.D. at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. An academic blog published a post on the controversy, and in a long comment, Thomas Davies, a Ph.D. student in classics at Princeton, picked apart Jorjani’s work. Jorjani bases an entire argument on the belief that the name of Norse god Tyr is a linguistic cousin to “tir”, the Persian word for “arrow”; in fact, according to Davies, “Tyr” is from a proto-Indo-European word for “god,” while “tir” comes from “tigra,” the Old Persian word for “pointy.” The similarities in sound may be convincing to a novice, but not to anyone trained in linguistics, Davies wrote.

    “Jorjani’s errors aren’t just differences in interpretation or viewpoint. His versions of ‘history’ and ‘linguistics’ stand to actual history and linguistics as alchemy stands to chemistry,” Davies told me in a follow-up email.

    But Jorjani thinks of his embrace of debunked ideas as a mark of intellectual bravery, a type of iconoclasm befitting what he sees as his considerable intellect. He channeled his education in an unusual direction — a seemingly endless stream of pseudoscience and pseudohistory, which he has used to give authoritative weight to the racism of the far right. In particular, he champions a questionable version of Iranian history that is promoted by Iranian nationalists: that prior to the Islamic conquest of Persia in 651 A.D., Iran was an Aryan civilization. Invoking the idea of a “white genocide” with the fall of the Persian Empire, he provided a historical justification for the far right’s obsession with racial purity and its hatred of non-white immigration. For Jorjani, what he believes happened in Persia thousands of years ago — a white civilization overcome by a horde of nonwhites — was a taste of what could happen now. However, his version of Iranian history is condemned by scholars of both Islamic studies and ancient Iranian history.

    “Nearly everything allegedly glorious about Islam was parasitically appropriated by Arabs and Turks from the Caucasian civilization of greater Iran,” Jorjani told the crowd in Washington, calling the fall of the Persian Empire the “first and greatest white genocide.” The crowd hooted in approval.

    IN 2015, Jorjani stumbled into the far right, he says.

    He needed to find a publisher for his book “Prometheus and Atlas,” so he Googled the term “archeofuturist,” which he thought was an original phrase that described his work. He found that an Arktos-published writer had beat him to the term, but he also realized that Arktos might be interested in publishing his book — and that’s what happened. The book was well-received in extremist circles. A review on the website of the white nationalist publishing house Counter Currents compares it to “Moby Dick,” and anoints Jorjani as the movement’s “‘pagan harpooner’ folded in the flag of Ahab.”

    The book is paranoid and conspiratorial. In it, Jorjani writes that humanity is on the brink of uncovering psychic abilities like telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Because of this, he has told me in conversations, humans must create a perfect “trust society,” which essentially comes down to racial homogeneity.

    Jorjani’s historical myths, in their superficial erudition and world-historical vision, have been tantalizing to a far-right that has been eager to legitimize itself by shedding racist signifiers. In place of the militarized and brutish skinhead look, there is the “fashy haircut” and suits that Spencer prefers. In place of (or in addition to) crude recruiting pamphlets, there are publishing houses, jargon-filled blog screeds, and flimsy science designed to confirm racist hypotheses as perennial fact. They appeal primarily to those who wish to legitimize their bottom-basement impulses with a decor of faux academic sensibility.

    Yet ultimately, his journey to the top of the far-right didn’t work out. “I watched the corporation that was my brainchild turn into a magnet for white trash,” he wrote on his personal blog, and he lamented the trolling he received for his posts on altright.com, the corporation’s website. “‘Iranians is brown poo-poo people’ kind of sums it up,” he wrote.

    This turn should come as little surprise — the “alt-right” was never as intellectually coherent as Jorjani and others tried to make it out to be; among other things, it just relied on old ideas of white supremacy made modern with some frog memes. But what Jorjani’s evolution demonstrates is that in 2018 and beyond, the “alt-right” and its leaders will likely show little concern for the kind of decorum Jorjani represented as a self-described “intellectual.” Indeed, following a paltry student turnout at Spencer’s most recent appearance at Michigan State University on March 5, he announced that he will stop publicizing his campus drop-ins and will seek new strategies of public engagement. The “alt-right” — a euphemism for white supremacy with violence at its core — simply doesn’t need to pretend anymore.

    SO, WHO is Jason Jorjani?

    “I am a utopianist,” he told me, slapping the table in the Iranian restaurant back in December 2016.

    I mentioned a quote from the Czech-French author Milan Kundera, after his exile from his Czech homeland: “Hell is already contained in the dream of paradise…”

    “I agree!” Jorjani interrupted, missing the rest of the quote. “I believe we should go through those hells and keep striving for the paradise. The deepest depths and the greatest heights.”

    “But doesn’t that also come with incredible terror?” I asked.

    “Yes it does. Beauty and terror are inextricable. You can’t have one without the other. If you want to strive for true beauty, you do have to confront terror.”

    “It sounds like a world of rainbows and flames.”

    “Yeah, and that’s where I think this movement is headed,” he said with a conciliatory sigh, his knuckles rapping on the table. “And if anyone tells you otherwise, they don’t understand it. … They think it’s a fad or something. But actually, that’s where it is going.”

    “That’s a very scary thing,” I said.

    “Beauty and terror,” he was quick to reply.

  2. #2432
    Senior Member United States Chester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chuckie View Post
    I didn't specify that I thought Chester was a white-supremacist, I was asking him and he didn't deny it. His Iranian dude that he recommended reading is a known white-supremacist. That's all there was to it, The disturbing part really related to his comment on Gio's thread that Liz Chaney was a sick human being. Sick human being? She's trying to save Democracy in the United States. That was disturbing to me. Chester is a product of PA and I feel he's bringing those paranoid sick concepts to TOT.
    To me, Liz Cheney is a sick human being because she has demonstrated (just like her father) time and time again that she is a champion for the military industrial intelligence complex that has created wars "in the name of democracy" for decades murdering millions of innocent people along the way. I doubt anyone here would disagree.

    Number two, I am no product of anyone but myself - understand?

    The one who appears paranoid (and is assuming the role of "savior" to TOT) is yourself.

    Someone who insinuates someone else is a "white supremacist" and then claims they asked their target if they were "such" and then further insinuates he must be because "he didn't deny it" is simply demonstrating exactly why your world (not mine) has little chance in extracting its head from its backside.

    But the worst of all is your comments pointing to Jason Jorjani. You clearly do not know a thing of what you are talking about. You have no idea what is true or not about this man. Yet you call him a "known white-supremacist." This is, again, another example of complete ignorance. I cannot imagine a human being choosing to live in such ignorance but I honor your right to so do.
    All the above is all and only my opinion. It may contain some sharing of components of my current operating strategy and some foundational components of my current world view - all subject to change and not meant to be true for anyone else regardless of how I phrase it.

    It's just a ride

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGD...vgBsCHmlC13jOg

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  4. #2433
    Senior Member United States Chester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chuckie View Post



    A WEEK AND A HALF after Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, Jason Reza Jorjani took the stage at a white supremacist conference in Washington, D.C. Richard Spencer gave him an awkward hug and pat on the back before he shuffled to the podium and spoke into the microphone.

    “In light of the outcome of the recent election, in which I think the rise of the ‘alt-right’ was the decisive factor,” Jorjani said, “it is especially meaningful for me to be here with you as the leader of what is frankly the most significant press in the ‘alt-right.’”

    Jorjani and Spencer had not met in person until that November weekend at the conference, hosted by the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist “think tank.” The weekend was spiked with occasional Nazi salutes. Just the month before, Jorjani had become the editor-in-chief of Arktos Media, a publishing imprint for some of the most canonical texts of the far right. They soon combined forces in a shared office in a spacious loft in Alexandria, Virginia. To end any confusion over what the “alt-right” movement stood for and who its leaders were, Spencer, Jorjani, and Arktos chief executive Daniel Friberg launched the AltRight Corporation.

    But as quickly as Jorjani rose within the far right’s ranks, so too did he fall. A year ago, the “alt-right” was in a campaign to rebrand white supremacy as an intellectually sophisticated movement, backed by a troll army. Yet in 2017, the far-right saw its most publicly violent year full of street protests. Spencer himself seemed to have traded his glossy “think tank” networking events, like the one Jorjani appeared at, for white supremacist rallies. Spencer’s “college tour” began in 2016, according to Spencer, as a project of “intellectual activity” — but it frequently served to provide opportunity for his followers to publicly gather and shout “white power,” throw Nazi salutes into the air, and engage in violent battles with counterprotesters.

    In their earlier days, Jorjani and his business partners had tried to perfume their brownshirt musings as a style of opposition intellectualism worthy of fair debate in the public sphere. When I first met Jorjani in December 2016, at the height of his rise in the far right, he proudly told me, “What happened is that a hyper-intellectual, vanguardist movement used a U.S. presidential election to advance its agenda.” Over a plate of fesenjan, an Iranian stewed meat dish, and jeweled rice, he added, “The ‘alt-right’ doesn’t work for Donald Trump, it doesn’t work for the Republican Party, it doesn’t work for masses of Republican voters, and it certainly doesn’t work for evangelical Republicans.”

    An Iranian-American like Jorjani might seem to be an unusual figure to join the leadership of a white nationalist movement. But more than a year after joining forces with Spencer, Jorjani is now trying to distance himself from a movement that, by his own account, he helped design. It raises intriguing questions: The facade of white supremacist intellectualism has been steadily crumbling, but just how did this happen? And what’s next?

    Jorjani’s apartment is on the Upper West Side in New York City, N.Y. Photo: Polina Yamshchikov for The Intercept
    “I DIDN’T PUT that there,” Jorjani said when I first visited him in December 2016, pointing to an American flag sticker on the door of his Upper West Side, Manhattan apartment. “It was probably some scared Muslim guy after 9/11.”

    He smiled and shrugged, his teeth gapped and his hair combed back in a fluffy, slightly thinned pompadour. He looked younger than his 36 years. Were it not for a gently sloping paunch under his black turtleneck, he’d have the appearance of an adolescent playing an adult in a wool coat and professorial attire.

    He is no meme warrior: He stays away from far-right code words like “cuck” or “libtard”; his presence on Twitter is minimal. Above his bookshelf is a version of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” illustrated by Gustave Doré.

    Jorjani fancies himself a gentleman and has a cloyingly sentimental view of women. They are to be treated with “respect,” he says, but my experience of his “chivalry” was claustrophobia-inducing. During our interviews, for example, he insisted on paying for my dinners so forcefully that, during my multiple attempts to explain that journalists are not supposed to receive remuneration from sources, he screamed at me. “This is not a discussion! You can print that!” he yelled.

    Sitting in his living room, he offered to show me his private art collection: a Facebook album dedicated to his own works, as well as 226 other works of art he has gathered from the internet. The album is a mix of sexy sci-fi pulp; Surrealism; Italian Futurism; comic book hellscapes; paintings by Franz von Stuck, Hitler’s beloved painter; and several suggestive photographs of prepubescent girls taken by Jock Sturges, whose equipment and negatives were confiscated by the FBI.

    One drawing in the collection, by Frank Frazetta, can only be described as space babes fighting in space. Their fleshy forms jut out at fantastical angles that defy the figures of actual humans.

    “It’s space Amazons,” he said. “I think we should have a world of space Amazons.”

    “Why do you say that?” I asked.

    “They should be the ones that annihilate the last remnants of Islam,” he replied.

    Clicking through Jorjani’s album, I came across an image of a woman staring from underneath a niqab, her eyes intensely burning.

    “Oh, I thought those eyes were incredible,” Jorjani mused. “To me, it evokes the history of, you know, the kind of tortured life full of rage and shattered glass that’s inside of a woman who becomes a jihadi, or who joins that cause.”

    After Trump took the oath of office in 2017, Jorjani continued to enthusiastically promote his “alt-right” project and insisted on its influence within the White House. In February 2017, he told me that the movement would begin a lobbying campaign and work on influencing the Trump administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

    In the months before the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, which Spencer and other partners in the AltRight Corporation attended, Jorjani’s alliance with far-right leaders began to crack. Just days after James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into peaceful protesters, leaving at least 19 injured and Heather Heyer dead, Jorjani resigned from the AltRight Corporation in a blog post. He did not mention the violence in Charlottesville in the post about his decision. Rather, he wrote that he was leaving to focus on an Iranian nationalist project that would “form the nucleus of a new regime, before rootless globalists and their Islamist pawns succeed in steering the collapse of the Islamic Republic in a direction that further erodes Iran’s territorial integrity and aborts its cultural rebirth.”

    But his leadership role in the far right would not be forgotten so easily.

    After his departure from the movement, Jorjani gained attention for comments he made to an undercover activist with the anti-racist organization Hope Not Hate, in a video published by the New York Times. In the footage, he implies that the “alt-right” movement would end in “concentration camps and expulsions and war”; with the wave of a hand, he said that it would come “at the cost of a few hundred million people.” He added that “We will have a Europe in 2050 where the bank notes have Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great.” After the video became public, Jorjani was placed on administrative leave from New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he had a teaching position. He claims that the quotes were libelous and the tape deceptively edited.

    Jorjani and I met again after the video was published. He insisted he wasn’t racist and pointed to what he said was his admiration for European Jews’ place in the “Indo-European tradition,” as well as his tolerance for black Iranians who were brought from Africa as slaves during the Persian Empire. As proof that he is not a “neo-Nazi genocidal maniac,” he handed me his second book, with chapter titles like “The Third World War,” “The Neo-Eugenic World State,” and “Aryan Imperium (Iran-Shahr).” He insisted that his vision of an Indo-European world was vastly divorced from Spencer’s atomizing white nationalism. “I am a globalist!” he exclaimed — merely one whose vision of the world is cleansed of Islam.

    It is not clear who Jorjani even considers Muslim. In his mind, Bosnia’s Muslims are Slavs who can be “easily excavated” from their religion. On the other hand, he believes hard-line Saudi Arabia and its inhabitants should be swallowed in a sea of flames to leave “a glass parking lot” on top of the desert. He has written that Iran’s “pre-Arab and pre-Mongol genetic character” would need to be restored through “embryo selection and genetic engineering” in order to “Make Iran Great Again.”

    Jorjani has a lot of fantastical ideas. In our earliest conversations, he expressed conspiratorial visions of the “deep state.” As if it were indisputable fact, he casually mentioned his belief that insect drones are currently in use by the NSA, surveilling us from mundane cracks and crawling under doors. In later conversations, he told me that private intelligence operatives promised him massive funds to take over the “alt-right” (a claim that could not be verified by The Intercept). In the New York Times video, Jorjani also claimed that Steve Bannon, Trump’s now-ousted chief strategist, was to be the “interface” between the AltRight Corporation and the White House.

    JORJANI WAS BORN in New York City to a family of prestige and means. While his mother comes from a working-class family of “northern European heritage,” he says his father is from a branch of the Qajar dynasty, which ruled Iran before the last ruling family, Pahlavi, prior to the 1979 revolution. Jorjani says his father had “incidental communications” with the shah, performing in his palace with the rock band he formed as a teenager. Despite this lineage, Jorjani claims that “none of the wealth remained.”

    He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran, and his Iranian passport describes him as “Shia Muslim,” though he hates Islam and doesn’t consider himself Muslim. Jorjani is also, by his own admission, a product of the American elite; he attended the Dalton School, one of the most exclusive private schools on the Upper East Side in New York City.

    After high school, Jorjani accepted a spot at Fordham University and transferred to New York University a year later. He frequently drifted to the extremes of thought, drawn to fringe science and taboo politics that were mocked by his academic peers. His master’s thesis was about how Islam, in his view, brings out the tension between democracy and universal human rights. “If you have an unqualified human right to freedom of religion, and you have an unqualified universal human right to democratic government — both of which you find in the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights] — then it is perfectly legitimate for the majority of a country to elect a theocratic Muslim government,” he said to me in an explanation of his thesis. That government, he continued, “on the basis of the Quran, legitimately can say that freedom of religion should be banned. … You can use these loopholes to undermine the whole framework of universal human rights.”

    Jorjani likes to speak elliptically, making wide and often demonstrably false academic claims. Some are absurd, like his belief that the pyramids in the lost city of Atlantis were built through collective psychokinesis, while other inaccuracies are perhaps imperceptible to the untrained.

    Following Jorjani’s appearance at Spencer’s conference in Washington, a small controversy emerged about the dissertation Jorjani had written for his Ph.D. at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. An academic blog published a post on the controversy, and in a long comment, Thomas Davies, a Ph.D. student in classics at Princeton, picked apart Jorjani’s work. Jorjani bases an entire argument on the belief that the name of Norse god Tyr is a linguistic cousin to “tir”, the Persian word for “arrow”; in fact, according to Davies, “Tyr” is from a proto-Indo-European word for “god,” while “tir” comes from “tigra,” the Old Persian word for “pointy.” The similarities in sound may be convincing to a novice, but not to anyone trained in linguistics, Davies wrote.

    “Jorjani’s errors aren’t just differences in interpretation or viewpoint. His versions of ‘history’ and ‘linguistics’ stand to actual history and linguistics as alchemy stands to chemistry,” Davies told me in a follow-up email.

    But Jorjani thinks of his embrace of debunked ideas as a mark of intellectual bravery, a type of iconoclasm befitting what he sees as his considerable intellect. He channeled his education in an unusual direction — a seemingly endless stream of pseudoscience and pseudohistory, which he has used to give authoritative weight to the racism of the far right. In particular, he champions a questionable version of Iranian history that is promoted by Iranian nationalists: that prior to the Islamic conquest of Persia in 651 A.D., Iran was an Aryan civilization. Invoking the idea of a “white genocide” with the fall of the Persian Empire, he provided a historical justification for the far right’s obsession with racial purity and its hatred of non-white immigration. For Jorjani, what he believes happened in Persia thousands of years ago — a white civilization overcome by a horde of nonwhites — was a taste of what could happen now. However, his version of Iranian history is condemned by scholars of both Islamic studies and ancient Iranian history.

    “Nearly everything allegedly glorious about Islam was parasitically appropriated by Arabs and Turks from the Caucasian civilization of greater Iran,” Jorjani told the crowd in Washington, calling the fall of the Persian Empire the “first and greatest white genocide.” The crowd hooted in approval.

    IN 2015, Jorjani stumbled into the far right, he says.

    He needed to find a publisher for his book “Prometheus and Atlas,” so he Googled the term “archeofuturist,” which he thought was an original phrase that described his work. He found that an Arktos-published writer had beat him to the term, but he also realized that Arktos might be interested in publishing his book — and that’s what happened. The book was well-received in extremist circles. A review on the website of the white nationalist publishing house Counter Currents compares it to “Moby Dick,” and anoints Jorjani as the movement’s “‘pagan harpooner’ folded in the flag of Ahab.”

    The book is paranoid and conspiratorial. In it, Jorjani writes that humanity is on the brink of uncovering psychic abilities like telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. Because of this, he has told me in conversations, humans must create a perfect “trust society,” which essentially comes down to racial homogeneity.

    Jorjani’s historical myths, in their superficial erudition and world-historical vision, have been tantalizing to a far-right that has been eager to legitimize itself by shedding racist signifiers. In place of the militarized and brutish skinhead look, there is the “fashy haircut” and suits that Spencer prefers. In place of (or in addition to) crude recruiting pamphlets, there are publishing houses, jargon-filled blog screeds, and flimsy science designed to confirm racist hypotheses as perennial fact. They appeal primarily to those who wish to legitimize their bottom-basement impulses with a decor of faux academic sensibility.

    Yet ultimately, his journey to the top of the far-right didn’t work out. “I watched the corporation that was my brainchild turn into a magnet for white trash,” he wrote on his personal blog, and he lamented the trolling he received for his posts on altright.com, the corporation’s website. “‘Iranians is brown poo-poo people’ kind of sums it up,” he wrote.

    This turn should come as little surprise — the “alt-right” was never as intellectually coherent as Jorjani and others tried to make it out to be; among other things, it just relied on old ideas of white supremacy made modern with some frog memes. But what Jorjani’s evolution demonstrates is that in 2018 and beyond, the “alt-right” and its leaders will likely show little concern for the kind of decorum Jorjani represented as a self-described “intellectual.” Indeed, following a paltry student turnout at Spencer’s most recent appearance at Michigan State University on March 5, he announced that he will stop publicizing his campus drop-ins and will seek new strategies of public engagement. The “alt-right” — a euphemism for white supremacy with violence at its core — simply doesn’t need to pretend anymore.

    SO, WHO is Jason Jorjani?

    “I am a utopianist,” he told me, slapping the table in the Iranian restaurant back in December 2016.

    I mentioned a quote from the Czech-French author Milan Kundera, after his exile from his Czech homeland: “Hell is already contained in the dream of paradise…”

    “I agree!” Jorjani interrupted, missing the rest of the quote. “I believe we should go through those hells and keep striving for the paradise. The deepest depths and the greatest heights.”

    “But doesn’t that also come with incredible terror?” I asked.

    “Yes it does. Beauty and terror are inextricable. You can’t have one without the other. If you want to strive for true beauty, you do have to confront terror.”

    “It sounds like a world of rainbows and flames.”

    “Yeah, and that’s where I think this movement is headed,” he said with a conciliatory sigh, his knuckles rapping on the table. “And if anyone tells you otherwise, they don’t understand it. … They think it’s a fad or something. But actually, that’s where it is going.”

    “That’s a very scary thing,” I said.

    “Beauty and terror,” he was quick to reply.
    It helps to state the source for your information but because you did not, I will - https://theintercept.com/2018/03/18/...jason-jorjani/

    So as to enlighten Chuckie (in case he hasn't paid attention to how things are done these last several years... the practice actually going back decades), when someone is targeted for cancellation - hit pieces like this (and the setup job for 57 seconds of edited tape from a several hour long conversation as the center piece of a New York Times hit piece to kick it all off) can be used, if desired, to destroy someone's career and life.

    The vulnerable fall for these antics. Sadly, our planet is composed of way, way too many vulnerables.

    Why not do an honest investigation as to a.) what "the Alt-Right Corporation" was supposed to be about and b.) why Jason Jorjani would be perceived a threat to the establishment?
    Last edited by Chester, 20th June 2022 at 23:31.
    All the above is all and only my opinion. It may contain some sharing of components of my current operating strategy and some foundational components of my current world view - all subject to change and not meant to be true for anyone else regardless of how I phrase it.

    It's just a ride

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGD...vgBsCHmlC13jOg

    https://www.facebook.com/samhunter57

    http://merlynagain.blogspot.com/

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    Senior Member United States Chester's Avatar
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    Here's the New York Times hit piece (for the record) - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/o...ndercover.html
    All the above is all and only my opinion. It may contain some sharing of components of my current operating strategy and some foundational components of my current world view - all subject to change and not meant to be true for anyone else regardless of how I phrase it.

    It's just a ride

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGD...vgBsCHmlC13jOg

    https://www.facebook.com/samhunter57

    http://merlynagain.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally posted by Chester View Post
    Here's the New York Times hit piece (for the record) - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/o...ndercover.html
    You are correct in one thing, Chester ... It is not my business or my right to save anything except the innocent. None of that applies here...

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    I've decided to put you on my ignore list Chester. No, not really.

    So, let me understand why you 'like' the victim Jorjani? First, it has nothing to do with his fantasies about historical data and his belief that all Muslims should be eradicated from the face of the Earth, nor his belief that white supremacists are essentially white trash (which was my point). Nor, the fact that his father was Northern European which allowed him the luxury of becoming 'white' and thus made it convenient to use the WS code of Iranian/Atlantian/European Caucasian superiority?

    None of that matters because you think he's an intellectual and very worthy of serious consideration?

    A simple yes or no will do.

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    History
    Arktos was founded in India in 2009 by Swedish businessman Daniel Friberg and John B. Morgan, an American editor. The company launched in 2010, then relocated to Sweden in 2014 and Hungary in 2015. Friberg had previously distributed white power music and Nazi paraphernalia before starting the company. His stated goal was to create a Swedish parallel to American alt-right media.[3]

    Friberg is the CEO, while Gregory Lauder-Frost, formerly of the Conservative Monday Club, leads the British division.[4] American professor Jason Jorjani became editor-in-chief in 2016, but later left that position when he began to distance himself from the alt-right.[5] (Chuckie's note: As above, so below, Jorjani left not because it was immoral but because he began to realize that WSs were white trash)

    Arktos was the world's largest distributor of far-right literature as of 2017, according to The New Yorker.[6] In 2019, Arktos was publishing more than 120 titles by 54 authors, including translations of the Russian ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugin and the French far-right thinker Alain de Benoist.[7][2][8][9]

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified Arktos as being a bedfellow of Identity Evropa.[9]Identity Evropa

    Identity Evropa
    American Identity Movement


    Leader
    (Founder) Nathan Damigo (2016 – Aug. 2017)
    Elliot Kline (Aug. – Nov. 2017)[3]
    Patrick Casey (Nov. 2017 – Nov. 2020)[4]
    Foundation March 2016
    Dissolved November 2020[5]
    Country United States
    Motives To seize control of the US government and establish a white ethnostate; To spread support for white nationalism
    Headquarters Washington D.C.
    Ideology
    Alt-right
    New Nationalism
    Neo-Nazism
    White nationalism
    White supremacism
    Identitarianism
    Trumpism
    Political position Far-right

    Identity Evropa (/juːˈroʊpə/), rebranded[11] as American Identity Movement in March 2019,[2][12] was an American neo-Nazi[13][14][15] and white supremacist[15][16][17] extremist organization established in March 2016. The group is identified as a white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League[18][5] and is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.[19][20] In November 2020, the group disbanded.[5]

    Leaders and members of Identity Evropa, such as former leader Elliot Kline, have praised Nazi Germany and have openly pushed for what they described as the "Nazification of America".[14] The white supremacist slogan "You will not replace us" originated from the group.[21] In an attempt to boost its numbers, Identity Evropa allied itself with the broader white nationalist alt-right and identitarian movements[16] and the group particularly targets college campuses[19] by distributing slogans on fliers, posters, and stickers.[7][16][17] It was one of several groups which have contributed to the rapid growth of white nationalism in the U.S. since 2015.[19][22][23]

    In March 2018, it was reported that the group was seeing steep declines in membership. The collapse has been seen in other alt-right groups, and has been attributed to widespread public backlash against neo-Nazism and white supremacy since the 2017 Charlottesville rally.[24] In March 2019, following a leak of the group's more than 770,000 Discord messages published by the non-profit left-wing media collective Unicorn Riot, Patrick Casey, the group's leader, rebranded[8][9][10] the group with the new name "American Identity Movement" with an Americana aesthetic.[2][12]

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    Anthroposophy and Ecofascism

    In June, 1910, Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, began a speaking tour of Norway with a lecture to a large and attentive audience in Oslo. The lecture series was titled “The Mission of National Souls in Relation to Nordic-Germanic Mythology.” In the Oslo lectures Steiner presented his theory of “folk souls” or “national souls” (Volksseelen in German, Steiner’s native tongue) and paid particular attention to the mysterious wonders of the “Nordic spirit.” The “national souls” of Northern and Central Europe belonged, Steiner explained, to the “Germanic-Nordic” peoples, the world’s most spiritually advanced ethnic group, which was in turn the vanguard of the highest of five historical “root races.” This superior fifth root race, Steiner told his Oslo audience, was naturally the “Aryan” race. 1

    If this peculiar cosmology sounds eerily similar to the teutonic myths of Himmler and Hitler, the resemblance is no accident. Anthroposophy and National Socialism both have deep roots in the confluence of nationalism, right-wing populism, proto-environmentalist romanticism and esoteric spiritualism that characterized much of German and Austrian culture at the end of the nineteenth century. But the connection between Steiner’s racially stratified pseudo-religion and the rise of the Nazis goes beyond mere philosophical parallels. Anthroposophy had a powerful practical influence on the so-called “green wing” of German fascism. Moreover, the actual politics of Steiner and his followers have consistently displayed a profoundly reactionary streak. 2

    Why does anthroposophy, despite its patently racist elements and its compromised past, continue to enjoy a reputation as progressive, tolerant, enlightened and ecological? The details of Steiner’s teachings are not well known outside of the anthroposophist movement, and within that movement the lengthy history of ideological implication in fascism is mostly repressed or denied outright. In addition, many individual anthroposophists have earned respect for their work in alternative education, in organic farming, and within the environmental movement. Nevertheless, it is an unfortunate fact that the record of anthroposophist collaboration with a specifically “environmentalist” strain of fascism continues into the twenty-first century.

    Organized anthroposophist groups are often best known through their far-flung network of public institutions. The most popular of these is probably the Waldorf school movement, with hundreds of branches worldwide, followed by the biodynamic agriculture movement, which is especially active in Germany and the United States. Other well-known anthroposophist projects include Weleda cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and the Demeter brand of health food products. The new age Findhorn community in Scotland also has a strong anthroposophist component. Anthroposophists played an important role in the formation of the German Greens, and Germany’s former Interior Minister, Otto Schily, one of the most prominent founders of the Greens, is an anthroposophist.

    In light of this broad public exposure, it is perhaps surprising that the ideological underpinnings of anthroposophy are not better known. 3 Anthroposophists themselves, however, view their highly esoteric doctrine as an “occult science” suitable to a spiritually enlightened elite. The very name “anthroposophy” suggests to many outsiders a humanist orientation. But anthroposophy is in many respects a deeply anti-humanist worldview, and humanists like Theodor Adorno and Ernst Bloch opposed it from the beginning. 4 Its rejection of reason in favor of mystical experience, its subordination of human action to supernatural forces, and its thoroughly hierarchical model of spiritual development all mark anthroposophy as inimical to humanist values.

    Who was Rudolf Steiner?

    Like many quasi-religious groups, anthroposophists have a reverential attitude toward their founder. Born in 1861, Steiner grew up in a provincial Austrian town, the son of a mid-level railway official. His intellectually formative years were spent in Vienna, capital of the aging Habsburg empire, and in Berlin. By all accounts an intense personality and a prolific writer and lecturer, Steiner dabbled in a number of unusual causes. Around the turn of the century, he underwent a profound spiritual transformation, after which he claimed to be able to see the spirit world and communicate with celestial beings. These ostensible supernatural powers are the origin of most anthroposophist beliefs and rituals. Steiner changed his mind on many topics in the course of his life; his early hostility toward Christianity, for example, later gave way to a neo-christian version of spiritualism codified in anthroposophy; and his viewpoint on theosophy reversed itself several times. But a preoccupation with mysticism, occult legends and the esoteric marked his mature career from 1900 onward. 5

    In 1902 Steiner joined the Theosophical Society and almost immediately became General Secretary of its German section. Theosophy was a curious amalgam of esoteric precepts drawn from various traditions, above all Hinduism and Buddhism, refracted through a European occult lens. 6 Its originator, Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), was the inventor of the “root races” idea; she declared the extinction of indigenous peoples by European colonialism to be a matter of “karmic necessity.” Theosophy is built around the purported teachings of a coterie of “spiritual masters,” otherworldly beings who secretly direct human events. These teachings were interpreted and presented by Blavatsky and her successor Annie Besant (1847-1933) to their theosophist followers as special wisdom from divine sources, thus establishing the authoritarian pattern that was later carried over to anthroposophy.

    Steiner dedicated ten years of his life to the theosophical movement, becoming one of its best-known spokespeople and honing his supernatural skills. He broke from mainstream theosophy in 1912, taking most of the German-speaking sections with him, when Besant and her colleagues declared the young Krishnamurti, a boy they “discovered” in India, to be the reincarnation of Christ. Steiner was unwilling to accept a brown-skinned Hindu lad as the next “spiritual master.” What had separated Steiner all along from Blavatsky, Besant, and the other India-oriented theosophists was his insistence on the superiority of European esoteric traditions.

    In the wake of the split, Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. Shortly before the outbreak of world war one he moved the fledgling organization’s international headquarters to Switzerland. Under the protection of Swiss neutrality he was able to build up a permanent center in the village of Dornach. Blending theosophical wisdom with his own “occult research,” Steiner continued to develop the theory and practice of anthroposophy, along with a steadily growing circle of followers, until his death in 1925.

    The centerpiece of anthroposophical belief is spiritual advancement through karma and reincarnation, supplemented by the access to esoteric knowledge available to a privileged few. According to anthroposophy, the spiritual dimension suffuses every aspect of life. For anthroposophists, illnesses are karmically determined and play a role in the soul’s development. Natural processes, historical events, and technological mechanisms are all explained through the action of spiritual forces. Such beliefs continue to mark the curriculum in many Waldorf schools.

    Steiner’s doctrine of reincarnation, embraced by latter-day anthroposophists the world over, holds that individuals choose their parents before birth, and indeed that we plan out our lives before beginning them to insure that we receive the necessary spiritual lessons. If a disembodied soul balks at its own chosen life prospects just before incarnation, it fails to incarnate fully—the source, according to anthroposophists, of prenatal “defects” and congenital disabilities. In addition, “the various parts of our body will be formed with the aid of certain planetary beings as we pass through particular constellations of the zodiac.” 7

    Anthroposophists maintain that Steiner’s familiarity with the “astral plane,” with the workings of various “archangels,” with daily life on the lost continent of Atlantis (all central tenets of anthroposophic belief) came from his special powers of clairvoyance. Steiner claimed to have access to the “Akashic Chronicle,” a supernatural scripture containing knowledge of higher realms of existence as well as of the distant past and future. Steiner “interpreted” much of this chronicle and shared it with his followers. He insisted that such “occult experience,” as he called it, was not subject to the usual criteria of reason, logic, or scientific inquiry. Modern anthroposophy is thus founded on unverifiable belief in Steiner’s teachings. Those teachings deserve closer examination.

    Anthroposophy’s Racialist Ideology

    Building on theosophy’s postulate of root races, Steiner and his anthroposophist disciples elaborated a systematic racial classification system for human beings and tied it directly to their paradigm of spiritual advancement. The particulars of this racial theory are so extraordinary, even bizarre, that it is difficult for non-anthroposophists to take it seriously, but it is important to understand the pernicious and lasting effects the doctrine has had on anthroposophists and those they’ve influenced. 8

    Steiner asserted that “root races” follow one another in chronological succession over epochs lasting hundreds of thousands of years, and each root race is further divided into “sub-races” which are also arranged hierarchically. By chance, as it were, the root race which happened to be paramount at the time Steiner made these momentous discoveries was the Aryan race, a term which anthroposophists use to this day. All racial categories are arbitrary social constructs, but the notion of an Aryan race is an especially preposterous invention. A favorite of reactionaries in the early years of the twentieth century, the Aryan concept was based on a conflation of linguistic and biological terminology backed up by spurious “research.” In other words, it was an amalgamation of errors which served to provide a pseudo-scientific veneer to racist fantasies. 9

    Anthroposophy’s promotion of this ridiculous doctrine is disturbing enough. But it is compounded by Steiner’s further claim that—in yet another remarkable coincidence—the most advanced group within the Aryan root race is currently the nordic-germanic sub-race or people. Above all, anthroposophy’s conception of spiritual development is inextricable from its evolutionary narrative of racial decline and racial advance: a select few enlightened members evolve into a new “race” while their spiritually inferior neighbors degenerate. Anthroposophy is thus structured around a hierarchy of biological and psychological as well as “spiritual” capacities and characteristics, all of them correlated to race. The affinities with Nazi discourse are unmistakable. 10

    Steiner did not shy away from describing the fate of those left behind by the forward march of racial and spiritual progress. He taught that these unfortunates would “degenerate” and eventually die out. Like his teacher Madame Blavatsky, Steiner rejected the notion that Native Americans, for example, were nearly exterminated by the actions of European settlers. Instead he held that Indians were “dying out of their own nature.” 11 Steiner also taught that “lower races” of humans are closer to animals than to “higher races” of humans. Aboriginal peoples, according to anthroposophy, are descended from the already “degenerate” remnants of the third root race, the Lemurians, and are devolving into apes. Steiner referred to them as “stunted men, whose descendants still inhabit certain parts of the earth today as so-called savage tribes.” 12

    The fourth root race which emerged between the Lemurians and the Aryans were the inhabitants of the lost continent of Atlantis, the existence of which anthroposophists take as literal fact. Direct descendants of the Atlanteans include the Japanese, Mongolians, and Eskimos. Steiner also believed that each people or Volk has its own “etheric aura” which corresponds to its geographic homeland, as well as its own “Volksgeist” or national spirit, an archangel that provides spiritual leadership to its respective people.

    Steiner propagated a host of racist myths about “negroes.” He taught that black people are sensual, instinct-driven, primitive creatures, ruled by their brainstem. He denounced the immigration of blacks to Europe as “terrible” and “brutal” and decried its effects on “blood and race.” He warned that white women shouldn’t read “negro novels” during pregnancy, otherwise they’d have “mulatto children.” In 1922 he declared, “The negro race does not belong in Europe, and the fact that this race is now playing such a large role in Europe is of course nothing but a nuisance.” 13

    But the worst insult, from an anthroposophical point of view, is Steiner’s dictum that people of color can’t develop spiritually on their own; they must either be “educated” by whites or reincarnated in white skin. Europeans, in contrast, are the most highly developed humans. Indeed “Europe has always been the origin of all human development.” For Steiner and for anthroposophy, there is no doubt that “whites are the ones who develop humanity in themselves. [ . . . ] The white race is the race of the future, the spiritually creative race.” 14

    Anthroposophists today often attempt to excuse or explain away such outrageous utterances by contending that Steiner was merely a product of his times. 15 This apologia is triply unconvincing. First, Steiner claimed for himself an unprecedented degree of spiritual enlightenment which, by his own account, completely transcended his own time and place; he also claimed, and anthroposophists believe that he had, detailed knowledge of the distant past and future. Second, this argument ignores the many dedicated members of Steiner’s generation who actively opposed racism and ethnocentrism. Third, and most telling, anthroposophists continue to recycle Steiner’s racist imaginings to this day.

    In 1995 there was a scandal in the Netherlands when it became publicly known that Dutch Waldorf schools were teaching “racial ethnography,” where children learn that the “black race” has thick lips and a sense of rhythm and that the “yellow race” hides its emotions behind a permanent smile. In 1994 the Steinerite lecturer Rainer Schnurre, at one of his frequent seminars for the anthroposophist adult school in Berlin, gave a talk with the rather baffling title “Overcoming Racism and Nationalism through Rudolf Steiner.” According to a contemporary account, Schnurre emphasized the essential differences between races, noted the “infantile” nature of blacks, and alleged that due to immutable racial disparities “no equal and global system can be created for all people on earth” and that “because of the differences between races, sending aid to the developing world is useless.” 16

    Incidents such as these are distressingly common in the world of anthroposophy. The racial mindset that Steiner bestowed on his faithful followers has yet to be repudiated. And it may well never be repudiated, since anthroposophy lacks the sort of critical social consciousness that could counteract its flagrantly regressive core beliefs. Indeed anthroposophy’s political outlook has had a decidedly reactionary cast from the beginning.

    The Social Vision of Anthroposophy

    Steiner’s political perspective was shaped by a variety of influences. Foremost among these was Romanticism, a literary and political movement that had a lasting impact on German culture in the nineteenth century. Like all broad cultural phenomena, Romanticism was politically complex, inspiring both left and right. But the leading political Romantics were explicit reactionaries and vehement nationalists who excluded Jews, even baptized ones, from their forums; they became bitter opponents of political reform and favored a strictly hierarchical, semi-feudal social order. The Romantic revulsion for nascent “modernity,” hostility toward rationality and enlightenment, and mystical relation to nature all left their mark on Steiner’s thought.

    Early in his career Steiner also fell under the sway of Nietzsche, the outstanding anti-democratic thinker of the era, whose elitism made a powerful impression. The radical individualism of Max Stirner further contributed to the young Steiner’s political outlook, yielding a potent philosophical melange that was waiting to be catalyzed by some dynamic reactionary force. 17 The latter appeared to Steiner soon enough in the form of Ernst Haeckel and his Social Darwinist creed of Monism. 18 Haeckel (1834-1919) was the founder of modern ecology and the major popularizer of evolutionary theory in Germany. Steiner became a partisan of Haeckel’s views, and from him anthroposophy inherited its environmentalist predilections, its hierarchical model of human development, and its tendency to interpret social phenomena in biological terms.

    Haeckel’s elitist worldview extended beyond the realm of biology. He was also “a prophet of the national and racial regeneration of Germany” and exponent of an “intensely mystical and romantic nationalism,” as well as “a direct ancestor” of Nazi eugenics. 19 Monism, which Steiner for a time vigorously defended, rejected “Western rationalism, humanism, and cosmopolitanism,” and was “opposed to any fundamental social change. What was needed for Germany, it argued categorically, was a far-reaching cultural and not a social revolution.” 20 This attitude was to become a hallmark of anthroposophy.

    In the heady turn-of-the-century atmosphere, Steiner flirted for a while with left politics, and even shared a podium with revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg at a workers’ meeting in 1902. But Steiner consistently rejected any materialist or social analysis of capitalist society in favor of “looking into the soul” of fellow humans to divine the roots of the modern malaise. This facile approach to social reality was to reach fruition in his mature political vision, elaborated during the first world war. Steiner’s response to the war was determined by the final, decisive component in his intellectual temperament: chauvinist nationalism.

    By his own account, Steiner actively took part in Viennese pan-German circles in the late nineteenth century. 21 He saw World War One as part of an international “conspiracy against German spiritual life.” 22 In Steiner’s preferred explanation, it wasn’t imperialist rivalry among colonial powers or national myopia or unbounded militarism or the competition for markets which caused the war, but British freemasons and their striving for world domination. Steiner was a personal acquaintance of General Helmuth von Moltke, chief of staff of the German high command; after Moltke’s death in 1916 Steiner claimed to be in contact with his spirit and channeled the general’s views on the war from the nether world. After the war Steiner had high praise for German militarism, and continued to rail against France, French culture, and the French language in rhetoric which matched that of Mein Kampf. In the 1990’s anthroposophists were still defending Steiner’s jingoist historical denial, insisting that Germany bore no responsibility for World War One and was a victim of the “West.”

    In the midst of the war’s senseless savagery, Steiner used his military and industrial connections to try to persuade German and Austrian elites of a new social theory of his, which he hoped to see implemented in conquered territories in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately for Steiner’s plans, Germany and Austria-Hungary lost the war, and his dream went unrealized. But the new doctrine he had begun preaching serves to this day as the social vision of anthroposophy. Its economic and political principles represent an unsteady combination of individualist and corporatist elements. Conceived as an alternative to both Woodrow Wilson’s self-determination program and the bolshevik revolution, Steiner gave this theory the unwieldy name “the tripartite structuring of the social organism” (Dreigliederung des sozialen Organismus, often referred to in English-language anthroposophist literature as “social threefolding” or “the threefold commonwealth,” phrases which obscure Steiner’s biologistic view of the social realm as an actual organism). 23 The three branches of this scheme, which resembles both fascist and semi-feudal corporatist models, are the state (political, military, and police functions), the economy, and the cultural sphere. 24 This last sphere encompasses “all judicial, educational, intellectual and spiritual matters,” which are to be administered by “corporations,” with individuals free to choose their school, church, court, etc. 25

    Anthroposophists consider this threefold structure to be “naturally ordained.” 26 Its central axiom is that the modern integration of politics, economy and culture into an ostensibly democratic framework must falter because, according to Steiner, neither the economy nor cultural life can or should be structured democratically. The cultural sphere, which Steiner defined very broadly, is a realm of individual achievement where the most talented and capable should predominate. And the economy must never be subject to democratic public control because it would then collapse. Steiner’s economic and political naiveté are encapsulated in his claim that capitalism “will become a legitimate capitalism if it is spiritualized.” 27

    In the aftermath of the bloody world war, at the very moment of great upheavals against the violence, misery, and exploitation of capitalism, Steiner emerged as an ardent defender of private profit, the concentration of property and wealth, and the unfettered market. Arguing vehemently against any effort to replace anti-social institutions with humane ones, Steiner proposed adapting his “threefold commonwealth” to the existing system of class domination. He could scarcely deny that the coarse economic despotism of his day was enormously damaging to human lives, but insisted that “private capitalism as such is not the cause of the damage”:

    “The fact that individual people or groups of people administer huge masses of capital is not what makes life anti-social, but rather the fact that these people or groups exploit the products of their administrative labor in an anti-social manner. [ . . . ] If management by capable individuals were replaced with management by the whole community, the productivity of management would be undermined. Free initiative, individual capabilities and willingness to work cannot be fully realized within such a community. [ . . .] The attempt to structure economic life in a social manner destroys productivity.” 28

    Though Steiner tried to make inroads within working class institutions, his outlook was understandably not very popular among workers. The revolutionaries of the 1919 Munich council republic derided him as “the soul-doctor of decaying capitalism.” 29 Otto Neurath condemned ‘social threefolding’ as small-scale capitalism. Industrialists, on the other hand, showed a keen interest in Steiner’s notions. Soon after the revolutionary upsurge of workers across Germany was crushed, Steiner was invited by the director of the Waldorf-Astoria tobacco factory to establish a company school in Stuttgart. Thus were Waldorf schools born.

    Anthroposophy in Practice: Waldorf Schools and Biodynamic Farming

    The school in Stuttgart turned out to be the anthroposophists’ biggest success, along with the nearby pharmaceutical factory that they named after the mythical Norse oracle Weleda. Waldorf schools are now represented in many countries and generally project a solidly progressive image. There are undoubtedly progressive aspects to Waldorf education, many of them absorbed from the intense ferment of alternative pedagogical theories prevalent in the first decades of the twentieth century. But there is more to Waldorf schooling than holistic learning, musical expression, and eurythmy.

    Classical anthroposophy, with its root races and its national souls, is the “covert curriculum” of Waldorf schools. 30 Anthroposophists themselves avow in internal forums that the idea of karma and reincarnation is the “basis of all true education.” 31 They believe that each class of students chooses one another and their teacher before birth. The task of a Waldorf teacher is to assist each pupil in fully incarnating. Steiner himself demanded that Waldorf schools be staffed by “teachers with a knowledge of man originating in a spiritual world.” 32 Later anthroposophists express the Waldorf vision thus:

    “This education is essentially grounded on the recognition of the child as a spiritual being, with a varying number of incarnations behind him, who is returning at birth into the physical world, into a body that will be slowly moulded into a usable instrument by the soul-spiritual forces he brings with him. He has chosen his parents for himself because of what they can provide for him that he needs in order to fulfill his karma, and, conversely, they too need their relationship with him in order to fulfill their own karma.” 33

    The curriculum at Waldorf schools is structured around the stages of spiritual maturation posited by anthroposophy: from one to seven years a child develops her or his physical body, from seven to fourteen years the etheric body, and from fourteen to twenty-one the astral body. These stages are supposed to be marked by physical changes; thus kindergartners at Waldorf schools can’t enter first grade until they’ve begun to lose their baby teeth. In addition, each pupil is classified according to the medieval theory of humors: a Waldorf child is either melancholic, choleric, sanguine, or phlegmatic – the categorization is in part based on the child’s external physical appearance – and is treated accordingly by the teachers.

    Along with privileging ostensibly “spiritual” considerations over cognitive and psycho-social ones, the static uniformity of this scheme is pedagogically suspect. It also suggests that Waldorf schools’ reputation for fostering a spontaneous, child-centered and individually oriented educational atmosphere is undeserved. 34 In fact Steiner’s model of instruction is downright authoritarian: he emphasized repetition and rote learning, and insisted that the teacher should be the center of the classroom and that students’ role was not to judge or even discuss the teacher’s pronouncements. In practice many Waldorf schools implement strict discipline, with public punishment for perceived transgressions.

    Anthroposophy’s peculiar predilections also shape the Waldorf curriculum. Jazz and popular music are often scorned at European Waldorf schools, and recorded music in general is frowned upon; these phenomena are considered to harbor demonic forces. Instead students read fairy tales, a staple of Waldorf education. Some sports, too, are forbidden, and art instruction often rigidly follows Steiner’s eccentric theories of color and form. Taken together with the pervasive anti-technological and anti-scientific bias, the suspicion toward rational thought, and the occasional outbreaks of racist gibberish, these factors indicate that Waldorf schooling is as questionable as the other aspects of the anthroposophist enterprise.

    Next to Waldorf schools, the most widespread and apparently progressive version of applied anthroposophy is biodynamic agriculture. In Germany and North America, at least, biodynamics is an established part of the alternative agriculture scene. Many small growers use biodynamic methods on their farms or gardens; there are biodynamic vineyards and the Demeter line of biodynamic food products, as well as a profusion of pamphlets, periodicals and conferences on the theory and practice of biodynamic farming.

    Although not a farmer himself, Steiner introduced the fundamental outlines of biodynamics near the end of his life and produced a substantial body of literature on the topic, which anthroposophists and biodynamic growers follow more or less faithfully. Biodynamics in practice often converges with the broader principles of organic farming. Its focus on maintaining soil fertility rather than on crop yield, its rejection of artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and its view of the whole farm or plot as an ecosystem all mark the biodynamic approach as an eminently sensible and ecologically sound method of cultivation. But there is more to the story than that.

    Biodynamic farming is based on Steiner’s revelation of invisible cosmic forces and their effects on soil and flora. Anthroposophy teaches that the earth is an organism that breathes twice a day, that etheric beings act upon the land, and that celestial bodies and their movements directly influence the growth of plants. Hence biodynamic farmers time their sowing to coincide with the proper planetary constellations, all a part of what they consider “the spiritual natural processes of the earth.” 35 Sometimes this “spiritual” approach takes unusual forms, as in the case of “preparation 500.”

    To make preparation 500, an integral component of anthroposophist agriculture, biodynamic farmers pack cow manure into a steer’s horn and bury it in the ground. After leaving it there for one whole winter, they dig up the horn and mix the manure with water (it must be stirred for a full hour in a specific rhythm) to make a spray which is applied to the topsoil. All of this serves to channel “radiations which tend to etherealize and astralize” and thus “gather up and attract from the surrounding earth all that is etheric and life-giving.” 36

    Non-anthroposophist organic growers are often inclined to dismiss such fanciful aspects of biodynamics as pointless but harmless appurtenances to an otherwise congenial cultivation technique. While this attitude has some merit, it is not reciprocated by biodynamic adherents, who emphasize that “The ‘organic’ farmer may well farm ‘biologically’ but he does not have the knowledge of how to work with dynamic forces—a knowledge that was given for the first time by Rudolf Steiner.” 37 For better or worse, biodynamic farming is inseparable from its anthroposophic context.

    Enthusiasm for biodynamics, however, has historically extended well beyond the boundaries of anthroposophy proper. For a time it also held a strong appeal for others who shared anthroposophists’ nationalist background and occult interests. Indeed it was through biodynamic farming that anthroposophy most directly influenced the course of German fascism.

    Anthroposophy and the “Green Wing” of the Nazi Party

    The mix of mysticism, romanticism, and pseudo-environmentalist concerns propagated by Steiner and his cohorts brought anthroposophy into close ideological contact with a grouping that has been described as the green wing of National Socialism. 38 This group, which included several of the Third Reich’s most powerful leaders, were active proponents of biodynamic agriculture and other anthroposophist causes. The history of this relationship has been the subject of some controversy, with anthroposophists typically denying any connection whatsoever to the Nazis. To understand the matter fully, it is perhaps best to set it in the context of anthroposophy’s attitude toward the rise of fascism.

    As the extremely thorough research of independent scholar Peter Bierl demonstrates, there was considerable admiration within the ranks of anthroposophists for Mussolini and Italian fascism, the precursor to Hitler’s dictatorship. 39 Moreover, several leading Italian anthroposophists were vocal Fascists and actively involved in promoting Fascist racial policy. 40 But it was the German variety of fascism which most prominently shared anthroposophy’s preoccupation with race. During the 1920’s and 1930’s the leading anthroposophist writer on racial issues was Dr. Richard Karutz, director of the anthropological museum in Lübeck. 41 Karutz wanted to protect anthropology as a discipline from what he termed “the sociological flood of materialist thinking,” favoring instead a “spiritual” ethnology based on anthroposophical race doctrine. 42 Flatly denying the anthropological research of his own time, he insisted on the cultural and spiritual superiority of the “Aryan race.”

    Karutz was more openly antisemitic than many of his anthroposophist colleagues. He denounced the “spirit of Jewry,” which he described as “cliquish, petty, narrow-minded, rigidly tied to the past, devoted to dead conceptual knowledge and hungry for world power.” 43 During the last decade of the Weimar republic, Karutz and other anthroposophists had to contend with the growing notoriety of Nazi “racial science.” Karutz criticized the Nazis’ eugenic theories for their biological, as opposed to “spiritual,” emphasis, and for neglecting the role of reincarnation. But he agreed with their proscription against “racial mixing,” especially between whites and non-whites.

    In 1931 the foremost anthroposophist journal published a positive review by Karutz of Walther Darré’s book Neuadel aus Blut und Boden (‘A New Nobility out of Blood and Soil’). Darré, a leading “racial theorist” and pre-eminent figure in the Nazis’ green wing, was soon to become Minister of Agriculture under Hitler. 44 This cozy relationship with major Nazi officials paid off for Steiner’s followers once the party took command of Germany. According to numerous anthroposophist accounts of this period, the Nazis hounded the Steinerites from the beginning of the Third Reich. But this self-serving tale is much too simple; the historical record reveals a considerably more complicated reality.

    Immediately after the Nazi movement attained state power in early 1933, the leaders of organized anthroposophy took the initiative in extending their support to the new government. In June of that year a Danish newspaper asked Günther Wachsmuth, Secretary of the International Anthroposophic Society in Switzerland, about anthroposophy’s attitude toward the Nazi regime. He replied, “We can’t complain. We’ve been treated with the utmost consideration and have complete freedom to promote our doctrine.” Speaking for anthroposophists generally, Wachsmuth went on to express his “sympathy” and “admiration” for National Socialism. 45

    Wachsmuth, one of three top officers at anthroposophy’s world headquarters in Dornach, was hardly alone among Steiner’s followers in his vocal support for the Hitler dictatorship. The homeopathic physician Hanns Rascher, for example, proudly proclaimed himself “just as much an anthroposophist as a National Socialist.” 46 In 1934 the German Anthroposophic Society sent Hitler an official letter pointing out anthroposophy’s compatibility with National Socialist values and emphasizing Steiner’s “Aryan origins” and his pro-German activism. 47

    At the time Wachsmuth gave his interview, thousands of socialists, communists, anarchists, union members, and other dissidents had been interned or exiled, the Dachau and Oranienburg concentration camps had been established, and independent political life in Germany had been obliterated. But for years most anthroposophists suffered no official harassment; they were accepted into the compulsory Nazi cultural associations and continued to pursue their activities. The exception, of course, was Jewish members of anthroposophist organizations. They were forced, under pressure from the state, to leave these institutions. There is no record of their gentile anthroposophist comrades protesting this “racial” exclusion, much less putting up any internal resistance to it. In fact some anthroposophists, like the law professor Ernst von Hippel, endorsed the expulsion of Jews from German universities.

    Despite this extensive public support by anthroposophists for the nazification of Germany, a power struggle was going on within the byzantine apparatus of the Nazi state over whether to ban anthroposophy or co-opt the movement and its institutions. This struggle was primarily conducted between Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy and a personal sympathizer with anthroposophical practices, and Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS and devotee of the esoteric and occult who viewed anthroposophy as ideological and organizational competition to his own pseudo-religion of Nazi paganism. 48 It was not until November 1935, long after most other independent cultural institutions had been destroyed, that the German Anthroposophic Society was dissolved on Himmler’s orders.

    The ban, signed by Himmler’s lieutenant Reinhard Heydrich, cited anthroposophy’s “international orientation” and Waldorf schools’ “individualistic” education. Nazi opponents of the party’s green wing, such as Heydrich, disliked anthroposophy because of its “oriental” origins; there was also a certain populist resentment of anthroposophy’s elitism involved. But even after the ban there was no general persecution of anthroposophists. The anthroposophical doctors’ association received official recognition and support, joining the Nazi organization for ‘natural healing.’ Many anthroposophical publishing activities continued uninterrupted; anthroposophist professors, teachers and civil servants kept their jobs; Waldorf schools and biodynamic farms continued to operate. Most Waldorf schools were eventually shut down in the course of the later 1930’s, despite the pro-anthroposophist intervention of influential Nazis like SS war criminal Otto Ohlendorf. 49 But the final blow didn’t come until 1941 when Hess, anthroposophy’s protector, flew to Britain. After that point the last Waldorf school was closed for good, biodynamic farming lost its official support, and several leading anthroposophists were imprisoned for a time.

    The Weleda factories, on the other hand, continued to operate throughout the war and even received state contracts. In fact Weleda supplied naturopathic materials for ‘medical experiments’ (i.e. torture) on prisoners at Dachau. 50 Weleda’s longtime head gardener, Franz Lippert, asked to be transferred to Dachau in 1941 to oversee the biodynamic plantation that Himmler had established at the concentration camp. 51 Lippert became an SS officer, as did his fellow biodynamic leader, anthroposophist Carl Grund. Thus anthroposophist collaboration with the Nazi vision of a new Europe persisted until the bitter end of the Third Reich.

    Much of this sordid history is substantiated, albeit with a very different interpretive accent, in the massive 1999 book on anthroposophists and National Socialism by Uwe Werner, chief archivist at anthroposophy’s world headquarters in Switzerland. 52 But even this revealing work presents anthroposophist behavior under the Nazis as merely defensive and thus absolves Steiner’s followers of any measure of responsibility for Nazi Germany’s myriad crimes. Many other postwar attempts by anthroposophists to come to terms with their history of compromise and complicity with the Third Reich are embarrassingly evasive and repeat the underlying racism which united them with the Nazis in the first place. The prevailing explanations are thoroughly esoteric, portraying the Nazis as manipulated by demonic powers or even as a necessary stage in the spiritual development of the Aryan race. 53

    The Biodynamic movement and its Nazi admirers

    More striking still than such mystifications of Nazism is the refusal within anthroposophic circles to acknowledge their doctrine’s influence on the Nazis’ green wing. The anthroposophist inflection of German ecofascism extended well beyond high-profile figures such as Darré and Hess. 54 Powerful Steinerite Nazi functionaries and supporters of biodynamic agriculture included SS officer and anthroposophist Hans Merkel, a leading figure in the SS Main Office for Race and Settlement; anthroposophist Georg Halbe, an influential official in the Nazi agricultural apparatus; Merkel’s and Halbe’s colleague Wilhelm Rauber; and Nazi party Reichstag member Hermann Schneider. 55 Other regional and local officials of the biodynamic farmers league belonged to the Nazi party, including Carl Grund, Albert Friehe, and Harald Kabisch. 56 A further central member of the green wing with strong ties to anthroposophy was Alwin Seifert, whose official title was Reich Advocate for the Landscape. 57 Leading figures in the biodynamic movement, meanwhile, such as Franz Dreidax and Max Karl Schwarz, worked closely with various Nazi organizations.

    What distinguished the motley band of fascist functionaries known collectively as the green wing of the Nazi movement was their allegiance to the anti-humanist “religion of nature” preached by National Socialism. 58 Reviving Haeckel’s blend of Social Darwinism and ecology, they embodied a historically unique and politically disastrous convergence of otherworldly ideology with worldly authority. In the green wing of the Nazi party, nationalism, spiritualism, esoteric racism and eco-mysticism acceded to state power. 59

    The green wing’s guiding slogan was ‘Blood and Soil,’ an infamous Nazi phrase which referred to the mystical relationship between the German people and its sacred land. Adherents of Blood and Soil held that environmental purity was inseparable from racial purity. This dual concern made them natural consociates of anthroposophy. The principal intermediary between organized anthroposophy and the Nazi green wing was Erhard Bartsch, the chief anthroposophist official responsible for biodynamic agriculture. Bartsch was on friendly personal terms with Seifert and Hess and played a crucial role in persuading the Nazi leadership of the virtues of biodynamics. He constantly emphasized the philosophical affinities between anthroposophy and National Socialism. Bartsch edited the journal Demeter, official organ of German biodynamic growers, which praised the Nazis and their courageous Führer even after the start of the war. Bartsch also offered his services to the SS in their plan to settle the conquered territories of Eastern Europe with pure Aryan farmers. His early and wholehearted engagement for the Nazi cause is testimony to the political precariousness of the biodynamic model. 60

    Many other powerful Nazi authorities supported biodynamic farming. These included, in addition to Ohlendorf, Hess, and Darré, the Nazi Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, Nazi leader of the German Labor Front Robert Ley, and chief Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg, all of whom were visitors to Bartsch’s biodynamic estate, the headquarters of the biodynamic farmers league, and expressed their encouragement for the undertaking. Two further extremely important figures, especially after 1941, were the high SS commanders Günther Pancke and Oswald Pohl. Pancke was Darré’s successor as head of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office and drew on Bartsch’s assistance in planning a biodynamic component to the Nazi settlement of ethnically cleansed territories in Eastern Europe. Pohl, a friend of Seifert’s, was the administrator of the concentration camp system. He took a special interest in biodynamics and had his own estate farmed biodynamically. He established and maintained the ring of biodynamic farms at concentration camps, which continued to operate until the final defeat of Nazism in 1945.

    Alongside these figures stood lesser-known Nazi leaders who actively supported the biodynamic cause, including a variety of other SS officers such as Heinrich Vogel, who coordinated the SS network of biodynamic plantations at concentration camps. Hanns G. Müller, the principal advocate of Lebensreform or ‘lifestyle reform’ views within the Nazi movement, was another longstanding sponsor of biodynamic agriculture. In 1935 the biodynamic farmers league officially joined Müller’s Nazi organization, the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Lebensreform,” a collection of ‘alternative’ cultural groups dedicated to alternative health, nutrition, farming, and so forth, with an explicitly and fervently Nazi commitment. The organization’s journal Leib und Leben published dozens of articles by biodynamic enthusiasts as late as mid-1943. Müller’s Nazi party colleague Herman Polzer, another leading figure in Nazi Lebensreform circles, was a particularly vocal proponent of biodynamic agriculture. The coterie of “landscape advocates” working under Seifert, a long-time practitioner and advocate of biodynamics, also included a number of active anthroposophists, most prominently Max Karl Schwarz, a major leader in the biodynamic movement. 61

    Nazi Minister of Agriculture and “Reich Peasant Leader” Walther Darré was initially skeptical toward biodynamic farming but became an enthusiastic convert in the late 1930’s. 62 He bestowed on Steiner’s version of organic cultivation the official label “farming according to the laws of life,” a term which highlights the natural order ideology common to all forms of reactionary ecology. In mid-1941 Darré was still heavily promoting state support for biodynamics, and his biographer claims that “one third of the top Nazi leadership supported Darré’s campaign” on behalf of biodynamics at a time when all varieties of anthroposophy were officially out of favor. 63 Indeed Nazi government encouragement of biodynamic farming had a long history: “There were two thousand bio-dynamic farmers registered in the Nazi ‘Battle for Production’, probably an understatement of the real figure.” 64

    The green wing of the Nazis represents the historical fulfillment of the dreams of reactionary ecology: ecofascism in power. The extensive intertwinement of anthroposophic belief and practice with actually existing ecofascism should not be judged as an instance of guilt by association. Rather it ought to be occasion to reflect on the political susceptibilities of esoteric environmentalism. Even the anthroposophist author Arfst Wagner, who spent years compiling documentation on anthroposophy in the Third Reich, came to the uncomfortable conclusion that “a strong latent tendency toward extreme right-wing politics” is common among anthroposophists both past and present. 65

    The Continuing Legacy of Steinerite Reactionary Ecology

    The calamitous experience of Nazism failed to exorcise the right-wing spirits that haunt anthroposophy. Steiner’s dictum that social change could only be the result of spiritual transformation on an individual level lead to a marginalization of sober political analysis among his followers. This left anthroposophy wide open to the same regressive forces that had surreptitiously animated it all along.

    Of course there were also personal continuities between the Nazi green wing and post-war anthroposophy. While Hess was inaccessible in Spandau prison, Darré’s judges at Nuremberg imposed a relatively short sentence, with the help of Merkel, his anthroposophist attorney. Darré studied Steiner’s writings during his imprisonment, and after his release from prison resumed his friendly contacts with anthroposophists until his death in 1953. Seifert returned to his professorship of landscape architecture in Munich and in 1964 was elected honorary chair of the Bavarian League for Nature Conservation. Darré’s biographer also notes admiringly “the brave handful of top Nazis” who had refused to cooperate with the 1941 purge of anthroposophists and “had their children educated and cared for by Anthroposophists after the Second World War.” 66

    The second generation of radical right-wing anthroposophists was represented above all by Werner Georg Haverbeck, a leader of the Nazi youth movement during the Third Reich and an associate of Hess. After the war he became pastor of an anthroposophist congregation and founded the far-right World League for the Protection of Life (WSL in its German acronym). 67 The WSL, which has played an influential role in the German environmental movement, is anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and pro-eugenics. It promotes a “natural order of life” and opposes racial “degeneration.” As aggressive nationalism gained ever more ground in German public discourse through the 1980’s and 1990’s, Haverbeck and the WSL were instrumental in linking it to ecological issues. 68

    In 1989 Haverbeck authored a biography of anthroposophy’s founder under the title Rudolf Steiner – Advocate for Germany. 69 The book portrays Steiner, accurately enough, as a staunch nationalist, and even uses Steiner’s work to deny the facts of the holocaust. Haverbeck’s fellow long-time anthroposophist and WSL leader Ernst Otto Cohrs is another active holocaust denier. Cohrs, who made his living in the 1980’s and 1990’s selling biodynamic products, has also published works such as “There Were No Gas Chambers” and “The Auschwitz Myth.” A further prominent Steinerite on Germany’s extreme right is Günther Bartsch, who describes himself as a “national revolutionary.” Along with his neo-Nazi comrade Baldur Springmann, an organic farmer, WSL member, and founder of the Greens, Bartsch developed the doctrine of ‘Ecosophy.’ A mixture of anthroposophy with reactionary ecology and teutonic mysticism, ecosophy is yet another vehicle for promoting far right politics within the esoteric scene.

    The persistent connection between Steiner’s worldview and neofascist politics is not restricted to a few fringe figures. Throughout the past two decades, well-known anthroposophists have been a common presence in Germany’s far right press, while anthroposophist publications often enough opens their pages to right-wing extremists. One anti-fascist researcher reports that “leading figures in the extreme right and neofascist camp are ideological proponents of biodynamic agriculture.” 70 Anthroposophists themselves occasionally admit that within their own organizations a “right-wing conservative consensus” remains “absolute.” 71 In Italy, meanwhile, the foremost post-war anthroposophist, Massimo Scaligero, was also a leading figure in neo-fascist circles, as was his pupil and colleague, anthroposophist Enzo Erra. 72 Steiner’s work has numerous far-right Italian fans. 73

    Many contemporary anthroposophists nonetheless maintain that figures like Haverbeck are marginal to their movement. This argument overlooks the fact that several of Haverbeck’s books are published by the largest anthroposophist publisher in Germany, and ignores the substantial overlap between Haverbeck’s positions and those of Steiner and classical anthroposophy. More important, mainstream anthroposophists continue to repeat the mistakes of the past, as if Nazi tyranny and genocide had never taken place. Günther Wachsmuth, for example – as mainstream an anthroposophist as one might find – published a purportedly scientific book in the 1950’s called The Development of Humanity which recapitulated the racist nonsense of pre-war anthroposophy. 74 Even more aggressively racist post-war anthroposophical works are not difficult to find. 75 In 1991, in the midst of an intense debate within Germany about restricting immigration laws, an anthroposophist journal ran an article with the title “Deutschendämmerung” (‘Twilight of the Germans’) which offered an ‘ecological’ version of neo-malthusian propaganda and anti-immigrant hysteria.

    Mainstream anthroposophy also still has a Jewish problem. Perhaps this is not surprising in a movement whose founder blamed the historical persecution of Jews on their own “inner destiny” and proclaimed that “the Jews have contributed immensely to their own separate status.” 76 In 1992 a Swiss Waldorf teacher published a book claiming there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz; a leading Russian anthroposophist followed suit in 1996 with another book denying the holocaust; in 1995 a prominent anthroposophist periodical carried an article on “Jewish-Christian Hostility” which recycled the old myth of Jews as Christ-killers; in 1998 an anthroposophist from Hamburg wrote to another Steinerite journal claiming that “from 1933 to 1942 any Jew could leave the Nazi dictatorship with all of his property, and even be released from a concentration camp, as long as he went to Palestine.” 77 In 1991 and again in 1997 Swiss and German anthroposophists re-issued the 1931 book Das Rätsel des Judentums (‘The Mystery of Jewry’) by Ludwig Thieben, one of Austria’s leading anthroposophists in Steiner’s day. Jewish organizations and civil rights groups protested this ugly tract, which decries the “far-reaching negative influence of the Jewish essence,” alleges that Jews have “an anti-christian predisposition in their blood,” and holds Jews responsible for the “decline of the West.” 78 The anthroposophist publisher threatened the protesting organizations with a lawsuit.

    The repeated occurrence of incidents such as these ought to be of considerable concern to humanists and people who envision a world free of racist ignorance. Even when approached with skepticism, anthroposophy’s consistent pattern of regressive political stances raises troubling questions about participation in anthroposophist projects and collaboration with anthroposophists on social initiatives. Those anthroposophists who are actively involved in contemporary environmental and social change movements frequently personify the most reactionary aspects of those movements: they hold technology, science, the enlightenment and abstract thought responsible for environmental destruction and social dislocation; they rail against finance capital and the loss of traditional values, denounce atheism and secularism, and call for renewed spiritual awareness and personal growth as the solution to ecological catastrophe and capitalist alienation. Conspiracy theory is their coin in trade, esoteric insight their preferred answer, obscurantism their primary function.

    With a public face that is seemingly of the left, anthroposophy frequently acts as a magnet for the right. Loyal to an unreconstructed racist and elitist philosophy, built on a foundation of anti-democratic politics and pro-capitalist economics, purveying mystical panaceas rather than social alternatives, Steiner’s ideology offers only disorientation in an already disoriented world. Anthroposophy’s enduring legacy of collusion with ecofascism makes it plainly unacceptable for those working toward a humane and ecological society.

    I cheated and watched your Jorjani video, the notions he is putting forward with his 'intense' intellectualism have been discounted for decades. (citation: Chuckie). Incidentally, I've seen that video before (I can't imagine where, though)
    Last edited by Emil El Zapato, 14th June 2022 at 13:23.

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    I'm not going to read that wall of text, but Hitler seemed to hate Steiner.

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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    I'm not going to read that wall of text, but Hitler seemed to hate Steiner.
    Well, the gems and the germs of truth don't come easily, Wind. Hitler's attitude is not surprising necessarily. Philosophies evolve, whereas Steiner may have held a benevolent take on social and ethnic stratification, nevertheless it was embedded in the core of his 'thoughts'. Hitler might have been opposed because he wanted to kill. Down the decades, Steiner's influence would/could have become the backbone of 'benevolent racism' to 'kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out. It is the nature of philosophy, not to mention religious and spiritual philosophy to take its course in different directions for different follower groups. Blavatsky, for example, wasn't she associated at some point with Satanism? I wonder if Steiner anticipated that? I mean for chrissakes, history is never so simple as Project Avalonians want/do believe it is. It takes a deeper level of discernment, honesty, and insight to cut through the jungle of obfuscation to get to the core truths.

    I have no objection to someone spouting Jorjani, for example, if they caveat their obtuse spitting with recognition of who and what they are engaging with.
    Last edited by Emil El Zapato, 14th June 2022 at 21:39.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chuckie View Post
    Blavatsky, for example, wasn't she associated at some point with Satanism?
    No I don't think so. She might not have been fully honest, but her work was quite important at the time.

    There's an interesting history to all of those different branches of theosophy.

    Steiner's lecture cycles from 1909 onwards emphasized his research into Christianity, toward which Mme. Blavatsky had been notably hostile. Thus, the tensions grew between the main society and the German section. The relationship between the Theosophical Society centered in Adyar, India and its German section became increasingly strained as the new strains of Steiner's teaching became apparent.

    Steiner's popularity as a lecturer spread far beyond the borders of Germany: he was active in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria and other countries. Besant tried to restrict him to lecturing in Germany itself, but this contravened both Theosophical Society statutes as well as a statement of Besant's greeting this broadening lecture activity, issued some months before. These tensions finally came to a head over the question of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a young Indian boy to whom C. W. Leadbeater, followed by Annie Besant, attributed messianic status as the new World Teacher, an incarnation of the Lord Maitreya. Steiner quickly denied this attribution of messianic status to Krishnamurti, claiming that Christ's earthly incarnation in Jesus was a unique event. Steiner held that though the human being generally goes through a series of repeated earth lives, the spiritual being Christ incarnated only once in a physical body. Christ, he said, would reappear in "the etheric" — the realm that lives between people and in community life — not as a physical individual. Steiner and the majority of the German-speaking Theosophists broke away to found a new group, the Anthroposophical Society, at the end of 1912. Shortly thereafter, Besant revoked the German section's membership in the Theosophical Society on the grounds of the section's refusal to allow admission to adherents of a Theosophical organization established to support the mission of Krishnamurti, the Order of the Star in the East. Anthroposophists were offended when Besant falsely claimed that Steiner had been educated by Jesuits.

    The World Teacher concept was unpopular with many theosophists, and was repudiated by Krishnamurti himself in 1929, leading to a crisis in the Theosophical Society. It was, however, a basic principle of the Theosophical Society that adherents of all religions were admitted.

    As a result of the conflict, two steps followed in rapid succession:

    The overwhelming majority of German-speaking theosophists followed Steiner into the new Anthroposophical Society, founded between August and December 1912. In a telegram sent to the Theosophical Society they justified this step by stating it was: "based upon the recognition that the President [Besant] has continually and even systematically violated this highest principle of the Theosophical Society, 'No religion higher than the truth', and has abused the presidential power in arbitrary ways, thus hindering positive work."

    Steiner's exclusion of Star in the East followers was a direct contravention of Theosophical Society statutes, and duly led to the charter of the German Section being revoked.

    Steiner later claimed that he never had considered himself to be part of the Theosophical movement. Even while the leader of the German section of the movement, he made a great point of his complete independence of philosophical thought and esoteric teachings from the Theosophical Society's esoteric path. His reaction to the above events was: "I myself experience what has happened — apart from what has been sobering and painful — as a great liberation from the oppressive narrowness that has characterized the life of the Theosophical Society for years."

    The basic structural skeletons of Steiner's cosmology and of his description of the human being as composed of various physical and spiritual aspects are based on Blavatsky's schema, to whom he acknowledged his debt. Steiner's elaborations of these (in his Theosophyand Outline of Esoteric Science) diverge from other theosophical presentations both in style and in substance, however. Despite their differences and the split with the Theosophical Society, Rudolf Steiner maintained a keen watch on the Theosophy Society throughout his life and continued to acquire Theosophical publications; of the hundreds of books in English in Rudolf Steiner's library, half were Theosophical books.
    I don't know if you've read or listened to Krishnamurti at all, but he was a quite thought-provoking thinker. He didn't want the role of a messiah yet he became a greatly influential teacher to many. To confuse theosophy and occultism with satanism is mistaken. Yes, some people chose the left-hand path and dark sorcery, but that's another thing. Also remember that Hitler's top man Himmler was heavily into occultism and dark arts. I am personally convinced that the nazis were demonically influenced to do the bidding of dark forces. Perhaps Steiner wrote about that too, but I'm not sure. I just know that his works have had great impact on people. There's much one could say about Atlantis and the different root-races, I've read my fair share about it and of course not all is fully known or understood even now.
    Last edited by Wind, 14th June 2022 at 21:50.

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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    No I don't think so. She might not have been fully honest, but her work was quite important at the time.

    There's an interesting history to all of those different branches of theosophy.



    I don't know if you've read or listened to Krishnamurti at all, but he was a quite thought-provoking thinker. He didn't want the role of a messiah yet he became a greatly influential teacher to many. To confuse theosophy and occultism with satanism is mistaken. Yes, some people chose the left-hand path and dark sorcery, but that's another thing. Also remember that Hitler's top man Himmler was heavily into occultism and dark arts. I am personally convinced that the nazis were demonically influenced to do the bidding of dark forces. Perhaps Steiner wrote about that too, but I'm not sure. I just know that his works have had great impact on people. There's much one could say about Atlantis and the different root-races, I've read my fair share about it and of course not all is fully known or understood even now.
    All true ... Krishnamurti ... not sure, maybe, but only in passing.

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    When my wife first told me she had seen this story in print media yesterday, before even seeing any of this suspect looking show video, I told her it sounds like one of those FBI set ups so that they can tout their domestic terrorist fighting prowess. Besides also keeping us all on edge and afraid.

    Now upon seeing this, my thoughts and observations are very similar to Jimmy's. This looks like a damn fed set up all day long:
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

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    Well Fred,
    Unfortunately this happened just east of Spokane, about 30 miles over in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. And you should know, that it's a very pro-gun conservative area of Eastern Washington - Idaho ... And in which the police out here are not known for being 'liberal lovers' by any means = Lots pf citizens have gun permits... In which could have been a reason for these individuals coming in from all around the country choose not to be armed.


    Mayor of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, discusses arrest of group of extremists


    CBS News


    More than two dozen men linked to the far-right extremist group Patriot Front were arrested Saturday in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, for allegedly planning a violent riot at a local Pride event. Coeur d'Alene Mayor Jim Hammond joined CBS News' Errol Barnett to discuss.

    Jun 13, 2022

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    What's kinda funny, is that the Police Chief got a phoned death threat from as far away as Norway for his officers reaction and arrest of the suspects involved ...

    PS ~ But knowing the FBI's track record, they might have even enticed this group into this whole fiasco?
    Last edited by Gio, 15th June 2022 at 02:01.
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