JvH

Doughty Doer 
or Fantastical Fraud?




To be a practicing Anthroposophist, you generally need to study and revere the works of Rudolf Steiner. But a danger lurks in this for the movement as a whole: Anthroposophy may become mired in the past, failing to grow beyond the (admittedly very broad) limits set by its founder decades ago.

Steiner encouraged his followers to consider his teachings virtually unassailable. He claimed to exercise "exact clairvoyance" that produced extremely reliable visions. However, Steiner did not claim to be utterly omniscient, and indeed he promised his followers that they could develop their own clairvoyant powers enabling them to make their own spiritual-scientific discoveries.

The problem inherent in this promise is that various Anthroposophists might have contradictory visions (contradicting each other and even contradicting Steiner), and thus schisms and sects could result, possibly pulling Anthroposophy apart.

Here is what might be considered a case study. Judith von Halle is probably the most controversial figure within the Anthroposophical movement today. She "does" Anthroposophy in her own, nontraditional way. Turmoil has resulted.

The items below examine this matter from several angles. I have added explanatory endnotes.








Prefatory Notes


◊ Von Halle and Steiner are essentially alike in at least one crucial way. Both of them ask their followers to accept obvious absurdities as truths. And their followers share a common characteristic: Despite the intelligence and seeming sophistication they occasionally display, they are amazingly, heartrendingly gullible.


◊ Von Halle's apparent sincerity about her own teachings should not sway us. Severely deluded individuals sincerely believe in their delusions, but this tells us nothing except that they are severely deluded. Then again, clever frauds may make a convincing pretense of sincerity, but they are nonetheless frauds. In this sense, von Halle is again much like Steiner: She is either severely deluded or she is a conscious fraud.


◊ The debates among Anthroposophists — sometimes quite heated, as in this instance — may strike outsiders as essentially pointless: disputes over fine points of fantasies that have been mistaken for realities. All the participants in these debates are mistaken to the degree that they all embrace, in one form or another, the falsehoods that comprise Anthroposophy.


— Roger Rawlings







I. From Spatz Zeitung Online, Sparrow News



The Devil is Abroad in Dornach! 

By Stefan Gyr

Translated by Roger Rawlings




 


Judith von Halle



With its massive concrete walls, the Goetheanum [1] looms defiantly above [the region of] Dornach and Arlesheim. At the base of the hill, just a half kilometer from this epicenter of Anthroposophy, she has pitched her tent in a former carpenter’s shop: Judith von Halle, far and away the most controversial figure in the movement founded by Rudolf Steiner. Since Holy Week in 2004, the 40-year-old architect who hails from Berlin claims that she have borne the wounds of Christ, known as stigmata [2], and she says that she has not eaten a morsel of food in that time. She even takes water only in limited amounts. Despite this, she has not suffered any real weight loss nor has she experienced health problems [at least until recently]. “To the transfigured physical body, earthly food is poison,” von Halle explains. By her own testimony, she even had to quit using toothpaste because the traces of alcohol in it caused “violent poisoning reactions" in her body. And what's more, this follower of Rudolf Steiner admits that she receives “visions” just like her master did, and she goes on “spiritual time travels.” She claim to have gone back to attend the actual Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.

A few years ago in Germany [July 2008], the magazine Der Spiegel reported on her “improbable hunger story.” But here in Switzerland the squabbling among Anthroposophists has remained out of public view. Von Halle apparently lives hidden away, shunning publicity. Her mailbox in Dornach bears only the initials JvH. Photographs of her are rare. The German culture blog “netzhaueter.de” published just two covertly snapped pictures of her giving a lecture in Mannheim, in 2009; they aren't very informative.

According to that blog, she claimed in her lecture that AIDS is caused by belief that humans descended from apes. Dementia is produced by a misguided Zeitgeist. [3] But she doesn’t give the impression that she's a cockeyed loony. The blog says: “Instead of some flickering spiritual wraith, on the stage stood a slim, graceful individual with a kindly persona and smiling eyes.” Only the bandages on her wrists suggested anything supernatural. Other reports say that she makes easy use of her charisma and feminine charms.

Von Halle may well be the reincarnation of Doctor Ita Wegman, one of the founders of Anthroposophy, her followers intimate. [4] Others identify her with sculptress Edith Maryon, another member of Rudolf Steiner's inner circle. [5] She has described her mystical experiences in many lectures given before audiences of initiates, and she has authored 18 books. Accordingly, this winter she was scheduled to give lectures and lead seminars in Dornach concerning Steiner's mystery plays [6] and the “powers of the Holy Grail in the initiation ceremonies of the Knights Templar.” But all events through the end of January, 2013, were abruptly canceled. Messages on Facebook said Judith von Halle was seriously ill. Only one event in early December was still planned: a panel discussion in Essen with German Anthroposophical leaders. The topic: “Knowledge and Experience at the Brink — Spiritual Practices Today.”

Serious Abuses”


As long ago as 2005, the board of the German Anthroposophical Society publicly repudiated “beliefs, interpretations, and intentions” concerning the appearance of stigmata on Judith von Halle. The cause of this “evidently real phenomenon” must be deemed unexplained, wrote the board. The phenomenon could “rip apart” the Anthroposophical Society if attempts are made to find an Anthroposophical meaning in the stigmatization. Indeed, devilish chaos had beset Anthroposophists since word of the bleeding wounds first circulated. There are some who revere von Halle as an initiated clairvoyant, but others condemn her as an fraudulent black magician who belongs in a side show at a carnival.

Von Halle had been working as a part-time secretary at the Anthroposophical Work Center in Berlin when the stigmata initially appeared. The 
board of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany found that “heated disputes” flared up over charges of “serious organizational misconduct." Unauthorized mailings went out, for instance, and office locks were changed, as were and computer passwords. Moreover, office manager Peter Tradowsky attempted to distance the Berlin Work Center from the Anthroposophical Society. From the start, the 78-year-old experienced teacher and writer Tradowsky had stood behind his young co-worker with the miracle stigmata, and he interpreted the phenomenon as consistent with the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. In this regard, he argued that her stigmatized body represented “the phantom body that mankind will possess when Present Earth is replaced by Future Jupiter.” [7] At that point, the German Society board fired every employee of the Berlin Center.

Unhesitatingly, Tradowsky, von Halle, and her loyal band established a competing outfit: the “Free Association for Anthroposophy.” It promotes itself as a “group maintaining objectivity within the General Anthroposophical Society.” Next, the Association established a branch in Dornach at the ex-carpenter’s shop. The Publishing House for Anthroposophy was instituted at that location. Despite its name, it publishes only books by Judith von Halle and her followers. The 
Publishing House for Anthroposophy is led by Joseph Morel, who for many years had directed the Publishing House of the Goetheanum. [8] While there, he published Judith von Halle's first books, which caused great resentment at the Goetheanum. In mid-2009, he was removed from that position.

A Two-Year Investigation


In recent years, von Halle has increasingly moved the focus of her activities to Dornach, Anthroposophy's worldwide center. Meanwhile, in Germany, a “fact-finding commission” composed of prominent Anthroposophists was established at Tradowsky's urging. After two years of investigation and tense struggles over allegations that some statements were falsified, the commission released a 107-page final report in mid-2008. The report recommended not only the rehabilitation of Tradowsky — who was praised for the "great commitment" of his excellent work for the Anthroposophical Society — but it also plumped for the elevation of von Halle.

The document made available to Sparrow News states that her stigmatization, her abstinence from food, and her “outstanding” spiritual-scientific research skills [9] should be publicly acknowledged as factual realities falling within the purview of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. The commission also recommended that von Halle be given the opportunity to hold a research colloquium concerning these phenomena and to create a “Christological or theological section within the framework of the School of Spiritual Science” in Dornach. 

Von Halle has researched these phenomena spiritually since 2004, the commission asserted, and with the help of Anthroposophical spiritual science she has made them understandable. Her books have found a wide acceptance among Anthroposophists, becoming bestsellers. [10]

The End of Anthroposophy”


The squabbling among Anthroposophists continues down to today. The board of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach has been keeping its head down. The leaders have their differences, but von Halle quite clearly has absolutely no support among them. Sergei Prokofieff [11] was the only board member bold enough in 2009 to criticize von Halle’s statements publicly. In the Anthroposophical magazine, “The Goetheanum,” he objected to the “enormous pretense” that the stigmatized one maintains. In 2004, shortly after the stigmata of the Son of God appeared on her, von Halle claimed in a newsletter that Christ himself spoke through her. Prokofieff wrote that such presumption portended “the end of anthroposophy. In all of spiritual history, neither saints, nor stigmatics, nor Popes have dared make such claims.” On the other hand, von Halle has long received backing from certain prominent Anthroposophists, especially (if you can believe it) wealthy donors in Anthroposophically inspired businesses in Germany. Indeed, Wolfgang Gutberlet (of Tegut), Götz Rehn (Alnatura), and Goetz Werner (DM) combined to create a German foundation that donated half a million euros to the Free Association for Anthroposophy. As a result, some voices now warn of a severe challenge and a huge change in the balance of power within the Anthroposophical movement. There is even a fear that the Society could be broken apart.

Outwardly, the Anthroposophical board in Dornach strives to downplay the discord. Sparrow News asked for an statement, and we were informed in writing: “Stigmatas have occurred repeatedly at least since Francis of Assisi.

More than 300 Instrances

"In the history of religion, more than 300 cases have been reported, so we should not be surprised that even people connected with Anthroposophy might be affected. The scientific investigation of life based on an underlying spiritual worldview is key to Anthroposophy. Especially with regard to rare phenomena like stigmata, scientific or, rather, spiritual-scientific comprehension is the ultimate goal. For conflicting views to arise, even within the board at the Goetheanum, is understandable and is as old as the history of the stigmata.”

In order to discuss the different viewpoints, a public exchange of views was scheduled to be held in Essen. Unfortunately, von Halle rejects all requests from the media for interviews. She was not available to Sparrow News. She needs to preserve her privacy because she can only work if she has peace and quiet, says the publishing director, Joseph Morel.

Church Remains Dubious


In the past, stigmatizations occurred almost exclusively in devout Catholic communities. The Roman Catholic Church has generally approached the phenomenon cautiously. The church has, in truth, canonized 13 stigmatized Catholics and it has beatified some others. But it views the wounds neither as miracles nor as proof of saintliness. In the various canonizations and beatifications, the wounds have either been passed over in silence or they have been mentioned only tangentially. Today, most doctors as well as theologians operate from the premise that the cause [of stigmatization] is wholly natural and psychosomatic. “The victims do not believe they are Christ, but rather they want to empathize with, and vicariously share the suffering of, the crucified one,” explains Frankfort professor of psychiatry Gerd Overbeck, who has investigated many cases.

The two most famous stigmatics in the 20th century are Padre Pio, now canonized, and the Bavarian peasant Therese Neumann. The phenomenon is not entirely new within Anthroposophy: Richard Pollak, who worked a hundred years ago on the construction of the first Goetheanum, reported having stigmata. Steiner should have prescribed exercises for him so he could rid himself of the wounds.

 






II. From Der Spiegel

(this is the article referred to previously)


Four Years Without Food

by Frank Thadeusz

July 28, 2008

Translated by Roger Rawlings


Since Easter 2004, Judith von Halle hasn’t been able to use toothpaste. Cleaning her teeth unexpectedly produced "a delirium in which I hovered between life and death for four to five hours." The minuscule amount of alcohol in the paste caused "violent intoxication" in the body of the Berlin resident.

But she had no need to worry about tooth decay and periodontal disease. It so happened, as the then 31-year old reports, she suddenly had to give up eating anything. Even a lettuce salad brought her to the brink of collapse.

Giving up food was not the end of her strange bodily transformation. Her bizarre metamorphosis caused her senses to become as sharp as those of a wild predator.

Suddenly, in favorable wind conditions, she "could hear exactly what was spoken hundreds of meters away." Also she could now miraculously sniff "what's going on in someone else's body through the diet process, what foods had been eaten hours ago, where the food originated, what condition it was in, and how it was prepared.”

Soon after that, bruise-like patches appeared on her hands and feet, and these were merely the forerunners of a far greater phenomenon: While elsewhere German families were happily eating their Good Friday fish, her body began experiencing the suffering Jesus underwent on the road to Calvary — including "the hours of abuse, the torture, and ultimately the death throes of the Crucifixion."

Ever since then, the "stricken one" by her own account hasn't eaten one morsel of food. Her body can only tolerate water, and only small amounts of that.

Is all of this just the deranged raving of an attention-seeking egomaniac?

Von Halle rarely appears in public. Apart from a few rather impenetrable lectures ("The Anthroposophical Significance of the Phantom, the Resurrection Body") given to select audiences, this afflicted woman shuns every encounter with strangers. She is carved from very different wood than the Italian priest Padre Pio — her famous predecessor. [12]

The farmer's wife, Therese Neumann, from Upper Palatine, Konnersreuth, was elevated to stardom by her believers in the 1920's because, on each anniversary of the Lord's crucifixion, she allegedly bled regularly from her eyes, palms, and chest. As many as a thousand people a day would make pilgrimages to the house of Father Ferdinand, where the stigmatic lived in a single room and daily greeted visitors. For many years, die-hard "Tessie" devotees have campaigned for Neumann to be canonized — so far without success.

The devout female clearly had virtues, which inspired a cult-like following: Throughout her life, she resisted all earthly temptations and prayed only to the "Beloved Savior." Otherwise, the rosy-cheeked country girl was industrious and worked with a scythe in the fields.

Bible-loving Therese, with her simple grade-school education, is poles apart from her successor. The polyglot academic von Halle has lived briefly in Tel Aviv and Houston, Texas, and she is a professional architect. The martyred maid [Therese] was given the admiring nickname "Suffering Flower," so perhaps the woman who is now laden with the agonies of Christ  [von Halle] should be called Suffragette 2.0.

Von Halle scarcely fulfills the stereotype of a zealous Christian: She was born into a Jewish family and is indebted to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. She refers to his ideas to explain the disturbing events that have befallen her. Thus, her stigmatized body represents "the body which human beings will carry beyond Earth life into the Jupiter existence."

Within the German Anthroposophical community, at the Berlin Center where Judith von Halle worked as a secretary when the stigmata first appeared, her case soon created considerable turmoil.

Baffled by her own transformation, von Halle first went to work with bandaged hands — but she feared being mocked by her colleagues: "People would naturally think, after a few months, that this woman is ill-tempered because she always wears gloves." Her family and friends, meanwhile, wondered why she — who had always enjoyed cooking and eating — now left her home-baked breads and cakes untouched.

The long-running cover-up gradually wore her down. She realized that "this game of hide-and-seek was an absolute lie for me and for others." So she revealed herself to a few close friends. But they found her situation so outrageous, they could not resist the temptation to spread the word. Like wildfire, news of the miracle spread through Anthroposophical circles.

Reactions ranged from apparent concern ("Might she be anorexic?") to gruff rejection ("That has nothing to do with Anthroposophy"). Von Halle’s supposedly punctured hands raised for Steiner disciples the issue of her relationship — which she had never clarified — to the church and Christianity.

The Master [Steiner] rejected both Catholics and Protestant liturgies, and he held that no intermediaries were needed between the faithful and God. [13] Nevertheless, in 1922, he helped found the "Christian Community" — a Christian church that is associated with Anthroposophy and dispenses with preaching a fixed canon. [14]

On earth, Anthroposophists nonetheless consider Steiner’s writings (over 350 volumes [15]) to be holy — even if they often seem to resist sensible interpretation.

But the fact that von Halle dared to interpret her mystical torments through the teachings of the Mastermind [16] caused consternation among the top Anthroposophical leaders. Observers reported in distress: "The members of the Anthroposophical Society who are dealing — closely or otherwise — with the fate of Judith von Halle, are helpless to account for the facts."

A further anxiety soon cropped up: The mysterious case could further damage the image of the eurythmy proponents [17] who were eyed with suspicion anyway. Unceremoniously, the strange woman and a number of her supporters were expelled from the Anthroposophical Center in Berlin-Dahlem.

The purge quickly backfired: Several dozen followers of the bleeding lady resigned their memberships simultaneously, and with von Halle they created their own alternative organization. [18] Also, one of the members of the commission recently appointed by the Anthroposophical board came to the conclusion that von Halle should be given funding so that she could conduct her bleeding and fasting in an official workgroup.


To date, however, she still remains outcast. Now her supporters are drumming up subsidies for the ailing one: “Due to health reasons, she clearly can only give a few lectures."


Her followers are untroubled by the fact that the story of her alleged four-year starvation diet is not really credible. According to the present state of knowledge, going without food invariably leads to death. So why is Judith von Halle still alive?


The faithful have a defiant answer. “Asking for proof that she goes without food is pointless,” one of them protested, pointing to Therese Neumann. Resisting forcefully, the feisty peasant woman dragged, by order of clergy, to a hospital for observation. Nothing was proven, although by one account a pot of stew was planted not far from her room.


Judith von Halle's dubious hunger story is unsupported by any dramatic weight loss. Early on, she lost a mere kilo [and nothing more since]. With Therese Neumann, the pounds dropped off at a furious rate, initially. But later her figure rounded out again suspiciously, despite her continued abstinence.


The Christ-admirer had a compelling explanation: "God does nothing by halves."












Fair Warning


The remaining items on this page will almost certainly try your patience. The two previous articles were written by journalists working in the real world; the following pieces reach us from the alternative universe that is Anthroposophy. They are characteristic examples of Anthroposophical discourse, and as such they have their value. But reading them can be a slog. So read as much as you can bear, and leap ahead when you feel you must. Sample the reasoning, the arguments, the claims made and the disagreements aired, then leap ahead — sample, leap, and sample some more. And when you've had enough, stop.

You will, probably, learn a thing or two about the way Anthroposophists think. (Of course, reading the pieces in their entirety is best, and I encourage you to do so if you possibly can. But...)

— R.R.














III. From AnthroWiki 


Translated by Roger Rawlings



Judith von Halle (born 1972 in Berlin) is a German author, anthroposophist and architect. She claims, since the Holy Week in 2004, to bear the stigmata of Christ and to live on water only. The circumstance of taking no food, which seems related to her Stigmatisation, is often doubted. However, it seems to correspond to the facts.


Life


Judith von Halle was born as the only child of Jewish parents. She attended a Catholic school in Berlin and a school in the United States. In Berlin, she studied architecture first at the University of the Arts, then at the Technical University of Berlin. She graduated in 1998 as a graduate engineer. In 1997, she became acquainted with Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy. She worked as an architect, was an assistant in the Rudolf Steiner House in Berlin, and has lectured there and elsewhere since 2001. in 2002, Judith von Halle married the Berlin anthroposophists and architect Professor Carl August von Halle, in whose office she had previously worked.

Martin Kollewijn reports on the appearance of the stigmata on Judith von Halle:


"As a staff member at the Rudolf Steiner House in Berlin, during Lent...of the year 2004 (when she was 33 years old), the stigmata — the wounds of Christ — occurred. To this day, they persist almost unchanged. One after another, these stigmata appeared first on the inner surfaces of the hands, then on the back of her hands a few days later, then at the tops and bottoms of the feet, and below the right breast. They correspond to the [image in the] famous painting of the Resurrection by Matthias Grünewald (the Isenheim Altarpiece). The wounds bled especially during Holy Week, in particular on Good Friday, and on Fridays between Easter and Pentecost ... The appearance of the stigmata was accompanied by a transformation of the entire physical organism. This consists in a radical transformation of the blood system which penetrates all the organs as physical-intellectual expressions of the ego and its connections. [19] An increase in the sensitivity of sensory perception necessarily involved a profound change in the need for nutrition. Not as a result of any asceticism, but due to the physical transformation [she had undergone], a total lack of the need for food has led neither to a weight loss nor to other restrictions or physical ailments. Her transformed physical body vehemently rejects any earthly food. Only water can be absorbed to a limited extent."

Judith von Halle provides reports about her mystical experiences in the service of anthroposophy. However, she has repeatedly been exposed to great hostility from some anthroposophical quarters. Each year, she delivers some lectures for members of the anthroposophical society. These form the basis for a number of publications, including HAD HE NOT RISEN, 2006, and THE MYSTERY OF LAZARUS AND THE THREE JOHNS, 2009. Her books on anthroposophical subjects have been translated into several languages.

Her work includes closely held (hidden) indications about her previous incarnation[s].

Karmic Vision

"One who develops such methods [20], which he brings to life, moving beyond outer sense impressions, may reach a certain ability to see intensively, in thought, the world in more than its present form. Such exercises, which mean that you can look at the world not only as it is at present [but also as it has been and will be], have for a long time depended on those people who have executed, in careful and systematic stages, exact meditation and concentration. [21] Some people have a particular ability to be formed in this way during their current incarnation. It is not apparent at birth, but it emerges from within at a certain point in life, and you know that you would not have acquired it in ordinary life if you had not already possessed it [in nascent form] at birth. This capability is that you can live inwardly, in the mind, and not live through your body in the material world." [— Rudolf Steiner] (Lit .: GA 218, p 182, brought forward from 11.17.1922) [22]

Judith von Halle as anthroposophical spirit researcher

Helmut Kiene (anthroposophical doctor and cognition theorist) about Judith von Halle:

"You can assume that confirmed humanists oppose von Halle. This does not mean that their judgment concerning such a visionary is fair. It may be accurate in part, but also [in a larger context] it may be mistaken."

A newsletter for members of the anthroposophical society has addressed the need for answers to specific research issues, thus:

"Is error possible with an innovative line of research into non-physical phenomena [as in the work of Judith von Halle, as well as others], and if so, how? How can we review the relationship between non-sensory perceptions, conceptions, and the criterion of truth — under which specific verification technique?"

Following a principle of prudence, care should be exercised in this case, when there is a departure from the methods of knowledge established in anthroposophy, especially when this happens under the name of anthroposophy itself. Such prudence is, however, necessary in order to assess all human research results. Judith von Halle, in any case, must be taken quite seriously.

Quote

Judith von Halle writes the following in connection with the temptations of Christ (here by Ahriman): "The challenge of Ahriman in his treachery was downright awesome. Perfidiously, Ahriman tempted Christ. He laid out the future, but he revealed only things that could bring the future to evil ends. But it was not the whole truth, because he showed him the future only from one side, omitting the productive side of evolution, so it was basically false. And yet all that he showed him was accurate. Ahriman showed him the future ingratitude of mankind, the abuse of its new mysteries, the ungodly acts of people who would preach his doctrines in his name, he showed him the false Messiahs. Christ had to watch the angels retreating in resignation, he saw his whole tragedy, as despite his sacrifice only a few people developed the necessary mental organs [23], so the Christ impulse sank [24], then deliberately was made out to be an absurdity. He saw the heresies of the future as they worked against the spirit, and he saw entire populations who separated themselves from him. He saw the destruction of his immolated adherents, the destruction of nature, of the earth, of the Christ-body itself, and he had to look at how all the apostate nations, the peoples who remained because they failed to submit their egos to the Christ impulse, how all these nations destroyed each other. He looked at the tiny number of those who underwent a truly Christian development at the end of the Earth Times....
"— Judith von Halle, HAD HE NOT RISEN, Vlg. at the Goetheanum, Dornach, 2005, pp. 131-132.







IV. From Southern Cross Review



I have modified the formatting of this piece, slightly,
in order to accommodate my endnotes.
Notes written by Steinbuch are now interpolated in the text
and indicated by asterisks.
My own notes appear near the end of the page.
— R.R.


Dear Reader,
The following article about stigmata in general and Judith von Halle in particular is not by me . So the question you may well ask is: What is it doing on the Editor's Page? We will not leave the answer blowing in the wind, my dear. I have appended it at the end of the article. FTS [Frank Thomas Smith, editor of the Southerm Cross Review]


Stigmata – or – the Judith von Halle Phenomenon



by Rob Steinbuch



Translated from Dutch to German by Rob Steinbuch 
and from German to English by Tom Mellett and Frank Thomas Smith






St. Francis of Assisi




Introduction

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, a public discussion [in Holland] about “stigmata” took place.

The following subjects were discussed:

- The situation after eight years of Judith von Halle's work.

- Stigmata in light of religious studies.

- Stigmata in light of Anthroposophy.

- Future perspectives.

The impulse for this meeting was the need to discuss the subject [of] “stigmata” among us. Since the events during the Easter time 2004 in Berlin this subject has awakened more interest, also within the anthroposophical community. The following questions have been asked:

- What is the anthroposophical viewpoint in relation to the stigmata event?

- What is our attitude regarding Judith von Halle's work?

- What importance does this work have for anthroposophy?

- And other question from the participants...

This report contains documentation for preparation of the meeting and a report on the discussion itself.

The situation after eight years

Judith von Halle was born 1972 in Berlin. She is an architect by profession and has worked as such. She has felt herself to be especially bound to Christ since childhood. She encountered anthroposophy in 1997 and worked part time for the German Anthroposophical Society until 2005. From 2001 till 2003 she gave lectures in the Rudolf Steiner House about esoteric Judaism and the Apocalypse of St. John.

During Easter 2004 the stigmata of Christ appeared on her. Since that happened she has only been able to consume water – that is, no solid nourishment. She gives lectures and writes books. Her books are listed as an appendix to this report.

In the first part of her book “And had He not been Resurrected...” her experience is described as well as the irreversible and substantial changes in her bodily constitution during and since the stigmatization.* Furthermore this book contains the texts of the lectures which Judth von Halle, together with Peter Tradowsky, gave on October 10, November 7, December 12 2004 – and January 30, March 6, April 10 and May 14, 2005. This book can be considered to be the basis for her subsequent publications. 

Judith von Halle, And If He Had Not Been Raised... - The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man with contributions by Peter Tradowsky, 3rd Edition 2009, p. 62. 

Her lectures and book are mostly but not exclusively concerned with Christology [25], whereby she adheres to Rudolf Steiner's work on the same subject.

As is true with other stigmata cases, Judith von Halle can “see” the events during the life of Jesus. She speaks of “time travel”. As of now she has written 18 books (see appendix). The series “Contributions towards an Understanding of the Christ event” [26] contain descriptions from her time travels.

Wolfgang Garvelmann in his book Sie sehen Christus – Erlebnisberichte von der Passionszeit und der Auferstehung Christi (They see Christ – Experiences of the Easter Time and the Resurrection of Christ), compares these reports with similar ones by Anna Katharina Emmerick [27] and Therese Neumann.*

* Wolfgang Garvelmann, They Behold Christ! --- First Person Accounts of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. A Concordance: Anne Catherine Emmerich, Therese Neumann, Judith von Halle. Verlag am Goetheanum, 2008.
 
Judith and her husband Carl-August live in Berlin, but are often in Dornach.

Judith von Halle was in Holland for the first time on June 12 and 13, 2010. In Zeist she gave a lecture with the subject “The Etheric Christ and the smaller domed hall in the first Goetheanum”. On March 24 and 25 she was again in Holland and spoke about Rudolf Steiner's Christology.

Judith von Halle's stigmatization caused great commotion within the Anthroposophical Society in Germany (ASiG). For many members it was positive, but the Board of Directors of the ASiG could not accept it. In September 2005 an official declaration by the Board of the AsiG appeared in its Newsletter in which the stigmata and its resultant effects were rejected as incompatible with anthroposophy. Thus Judith von Halle's work within the Anthropospical Society was, in effect, made impossible. 

In the Spring of 2006 a “Group in a specific field of work” was founded which could work within the General Anthroposophical Society (Center in Dornach). It is called: Free Association for Anthroposphy. This association managed Judith von Halle's lectures. The next AsiG General Assembly decided to investigate and named a Judgment Commission. It delivered its report in 2008 in which the Board was instructed to initiate further contact with Judith von Halle. On December 8, 2012 a public discussion with the Board and Judth von Halle took place.
 
Meanwhile she was invited to give lectures in the Goetheanum in Dornach. The Great Hall was always full [for these]. She also wrote articles for “Das Goetheanum” [Newsletter]. But the Board (Vorstand) had problems with the stigmata phenomenon. In 2008 Board member Sergei O. Prokofieff published “The Mystery of Golgotha in the Light of Anthropsophy”. He added an afterword to this book, in which he emphatically rejected the stigmatization [of Judith von Halle].* Peter Tradowsky immediately replied with another book.** 

* Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Mystery of the Resurrection in the Light of Anthroposophy, Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 2008. (See Appendix)

** Peter Tradowsky, “Stigmatization --- Destiny as a Question of Knowledge,” published in Das Goetheanum, 2009. 

In answer to a question from some members, in a letter dated October 28, 2010, the Board of Directors (Vorstand) of the General Anthropsophical Society declared itself to be in agreement with Prokoffief's rejection.* Since then Judith von Halle has not been invited to give lectures in the Goetheanum or to contribute articles to the Society's Newsletter. Nor have her books been reviewed in the Newsletter. Recently Sergei Prokofieff brought up the subject in another book. Obviously his opinion has not changed.

Letter from GAS Vorstand to W. Gutberlet and D. Hardorp, October 28, 2008.

It is noteworthy that neither the German Anthroposophical Society nor the Board of the General Anthropsophical Society in Dornach mentioned what Rudolf Steiner said about this subject. An essay about about his words on the subject of Stigmata was published in 2011 in Dutch, German and English and distributed worldwide. 

Stigmata in the light of Theology

Stigmata has [sic] occurred in western Europe since the 13th Century. Roughly 350 people have borne the “stigmata of Christ” during their lifetime. Descriptions, analysis and a list of names (according to century) can be found in many publications.*

* For example, John Mary Höcht, Bearing the Wounds of Christ, Christiana-Publishing, 2004, and Michael Hesemann, Stigmata --- They Bear the Wounds of Christ. Silver Cord Publishers, 2006. Also see the Encyclopedia Brittanica and Wikipedia. 

Individuals from Holland appear from the beginning. [28] The most recent example of a person with stigmata from Holland was Dora Vissar from Gendringen, who lived from 1819 to 1876. She received the stigmata in 1843. Her beatification is expected in 2014. Probably there are about 25 people in the world with stigmata today. Interest in the subject is increasing. This may have something to do with the increase in “new spirituality”. There are also publications in which the super-sensible character of the phenomenon is categorically rejected. [29]

The stigmata is [sic] mostly related to other very important changes in the individual's constitution. 

“Metanoia” [the process of experiencing a psychotic "breakdown" and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or "healing"] appears in respect to morality and comportment. One continually gives herself to others and begins to function as a living fountain from which spiritual and social impulses flow — in their contemporary characteristics. They have a curative effect — if the environment responds in a reasonable way. 

In general it is assumed that the appearance of stigmata relates to the deepest possible mystical union with Christ. This mystical union is possible to a certain extent for all persons, but in the extraordinary situation of the appearance of stigmata, something quite special is involved. A kind of invitation has been offered wherewith the “yes-word” is requested from the individual concerned. [30] Therefore the stigmata cannot be made to appear by one's own will. 

The biograpy of Adrienne von Speyr (1902-1967) is an example. She had a successful doctor's practice in Basel. She was married and had two stepchildren. She was also deeply religious. In the spring of 1941 she experienced an angel. Her visitor told her that “it would soon begin, provided she wished to give the yes-word.” Thereafter she had experiences weekly between Friday and Sunday similar to those described by Judith von Halle in And If He Had Not Been Raised.... In July 1942 the visible stigmata appeared. Her life thereafter can be considered as exemplary for someone bearing the stigmata in our times. She carried on with the medical practice as best she could, but a huge amount of work was added. She wrote one book after another. (Fifty have been published.) She organized meetings for religious deepening and organized her own institute for that purpose. But above all she was always ready to help others.*

John Mary Höcht, Bearing the Wounds of Christ, Christiana-Publishing, 2004, pages 7-10.
 
The stigmatization process is mostly called a “mystery.” Irreversible, very important changes in the human constitution appear, which cannot be explained by human sciences (medical or psychological). They can only be the result of intervention from an “invisible world.” That does not explain the phenomenon, but it at least points to the direction we must go if we wish to obtain knowledge of the occurrences and their meaning. 

These occurrences may include [31]:

- The stigmata appear, open wounds on both sides of the hands, feet and the right side of the torso. Also stigmata on the head (crown of thorns) and breast may appear. At first red spots which later disappear may also be seen on other places of the body.


- The affected person can no longer abide food and can only ingest water.

- The capacity for perception is greatly increased. She [32] can accurately perceive things from a great distance.

- Retrospective and perspective clairvoyance also occurs, especially in respect to the life of Jesus. It is experienced as though she were his contemporary. Not all the phenomena described in the literature necessarily always occur. 

In the capacities of the soul, very profound changes can take place. The experiences during the life of Jesus can be investigated and clarified as witnessed testimony. Usually a positive development of character can be observed in which a personality arises which is stronger and richer. She may be capable of pronouncing things which are far beyond her previous capacities. She can lead profound conversations or create texts of extraordinary quality — and always tries to help the person in trouble. 

As already mentioned, the comportment of the outside world is of great importance. Often considerable pain and emotional tension is experienced. This requires care and restraint by the community. One wishes to experience the stigmatization process in inner intimacy and therefore has no desire for publicity. This is especially true during periods of deep meditation, mostly between Friday afternoon and Saturday or Sunday. The desire for sensationalism or exaggerated wonder by the world is not appreciated. [33] Instructing mystics leads to disappointment. Directors of organizations often want to have “everything under control”, which is not possible here. This is also a source of conflict. Mysticism cannot be controlled. 

Freedom plays an important role in the stigmatization process [34], so the relation to the world should also be a function of freedom. It can never be a relationship of teacher-pupil. The community must be free to have an affinity to the stigmata event or not. No moralistic judgment is appropriate.

In some cases a “failed initiation” or fraud or psycho-pathological self-deception might be involved. With today's medical professionalism, something like that would be quickly evident. [35] In earlier times it was not the case. 

The theological basis for the events is still developing. The historical-critical Bible exegesis was important for judging the life of Jesus during a large part of the twentieth century. For adherents of the de-mytholization theory the acceptance of super-sensible events was very problematic. So what could their attitude to something like stigmata be?

This problematic played a role in the changing jugments by the Catholic Church about the stigmata of the Franciscan Padre Pio (1887-1968). Within the Franciscan order even the stigmata of St. Francis himself 800 years ago is being questioned. The Dutch Franciscans organized a conference in October 2004 with the theme: “If Francis of Assisi did not have stigmata, what really happened?” The conference report was published as a book.* It was clear that the question could not be solved “technically.” But this book shows how incredibly inspiring the life and work of “Il Poverello” was and still is. The conference was about him — and not his stigmata.

W.M. Speelman (ed.), Wounds and Miracles – On the Stigmata of St. Francis, Van Gorcum, 2006.

The stgmata event is again relevant — more as a worldwide phenomenon and less confined to a particular religion such as the Catholic Church. It has become very much an individual happening. The community has a protective, supportive role. 

Stigmatization in the Light of Anthroposophy

Rudolf Steiner spoke several times about the stigmata, based, we assume, on the results of his occult research (from the Akashic Chronicle). [36] In successive lectures, he reported on the circumstances of his research. If you read these lectures consecutively, then you can see how his relevant insights are developed.

Between August 22 and September 4, 1906, Rudolf Steiner gave 14 lectures in Stuttgart (GA95). During the final two lectures, he discussed 3 paths of spiritual development: Oriental Yoga training, the Christian path and Rosicrucian path. [37]

During the lecture on September 3, he described the 7 stages of the Christian path of development. The first stage is the “Washing of the Feet.” During the 4th stage, the Crucifixion, a reddening develops in the spots where the Stigmata occurs. The 7th stage is that of the Resurrection, but it cannot be described in words. Then he said:

“When a person has lived through this 7th stage, then Christianity has become an inner experience of his soul. He is then wholly united with Christ Jesus, the Christ Jesus is in him.”*

Rudolf Steiner, At the Gates of Theosophy (Spiritual Science), GA 95, pp. 126-130.

Rudolf Steiner went even further in his lectures of June 6, 1907 in Munich, May 30, 1908 in Hamburg, and October 14, 1911 in Karlsruhe. These lectures have been collected in the booklet called “Stigmata in the Light of Anthroposophy.”*

Rob Steinbuch, “Stigmata in the Light of Anthroposophy”, 2011.

In the June 6, 1907 lecture, the 6th stage “Burial and Resurrection” and the 7th stage “Ascension” were mentioned for the first time. In the May 30,1908 lecture, the stigmata itself is mentioned for the first time. And in the October 14,1911 lecture, he makes the assertion that when a person experiences stigmatization, then he or she is beginning to receive the Phantom (also known as the “Resurrection Body”). This aspect was given a lot of attention in this lecture cycle. The fundamental attitude required on this path of development is humility. The result is “catharsis” or “cleansing.”

It is clear in all these lectures that Rudolf Steiner spoke with the utmost respect about the appearance of the stigmata.

In all four of these lectures, Steiner calls it the Rosicrucian path of development, which, together with the Christian path of development, can result in the stigmata appearing. Both paths can lead to the same result.

Since the Christian path demands a definite reclusiveness, it is therefore only the right path for a select few people. Furthermore, this path requires a deep and living faith in Christ Jesus as a historical figure and demands a relationship with the Gospel of John — especially the opening verses about the Logos — as well as the Book of Revelation.

The Rosicrucian path of development affords more possibilities. Christ can be seen both explicitly and implicitly. In the explicit experience, a certain relationship with the Christian path of development can occur. But in the implicit experience, the concrete interpretation of the word “Christ” can even be entirely omitted. This indicates just how far today the individual freedom of the human being has evolved.

If we try to implement this in modern culture, where the encounter with Christ is front and center, then we could say that this encounter bears a quite implicit character. The conscience then becomes the source of the implicit working with Christ. But this encounter may also be explicit, even to the point of physicality. It can also be the starting point of a conscious striving toward a merging with Christ.

Obviously, in both cases we don’t mean the Christ being in His full glory. We could hardly tolerate a faint encounter, let alone a full merging! The real issue is the (very small) part of what we can endure as the encounter or the merging. Only once has it ever happened that the Christ Being completely merged with a human being: that was at the moment of the Crucifixion of Jesus. 

It is clear that both paths of development complement and reinforce each other. That could have been the reason why Rudolf Steiner mentioned both paths in such close proximity in the lectures. 

It speaks to the heart of anthroposophy. Both paths of development lead to a complete “Christification.” It is described in the 4th stanza of the Foundation Stone Meditation, when it comes to the significance of the “Turning Point of Time.” [38] Every person can — if willing — receive the “Light of Christ.” Then people can modify this light into the “wise heads of kings” or the “simple shepherds’ hearts” in order to operate in the world. Thus, “So that good will become what we beget from our hearts and will to achieve through our heads.”

Within the Anthroposophical Society, Ita Wegman was occasionally asked about her attitude regarding the stigmatization of Therese von Neumann (1898-1962). Ita Wegman had written an article about it in 1927 and expressly rejected stigmatization.* The question is how much this agreed with the positive approach taken by Rudolf Steiner. If you examine the biography of Ita Wegman, it is very likely that she did not attend any of the lectures where Steiner spoke about stigmatization. There does exist a booklet about it.**

Ita Wegman, Initiating the Extension of Medicine according to Spiritual Science, Volume II, Issue 3/4, Sept/Oct 1927, Natura-Verlag, Arlesheim, Switzerland, 1956.

** Rob Steinbuch, Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman on the Stigmata, 2012.

Previously I raised the question: What could be the meaning of the stigmata that St. Francis of Assisi experienced, occurring just two years or so before his death? I don’t believe it was some kind of “medal of honor” bestowed on someone well nigh posthumously. In his lectures on May 29, 1912 in Norrköping (GA 155) and on December 18, 1912 in Neuchatel (GA 130), Rudolf Steiner spoke about a past and future incarnation of the individuality known as Francis of Assisi. He was incarnated around 700 AD at a Christian-Buddhist school near the Black Sea. [39] That may clarify the special character of this [religious] order. After his incarnation as Francis of Assisi, he subsequently incarnated only once more and for a short time on earth, having died in childhood. Is it possible that this individuality actually continues his work on Earth from the spiritual world? And that we could indeed actually experience such activity? And could the stigmata that he received so shortly before his death have contributed to this activity? In this light, the great significance that St. Francis of Assisi already has for modern people takes on a whole new dimension.

Does anthroposophy also take notice of the time when the stigmata began to appear, especially in the 13th Century? In his lecture on February 15, 1909 in Berlin (GA 107 and 109) Rudolf Steiner discussed the requirements of the soul needed for the path of mysticism. First and foremost is a thoroughly Christified Consciousness Soul. The 12th and 13th Century formed the transitional period before the so-called Consciousness Soul period [starting 1413 AD]. So this could also be a clue.

Future Prospects

Rudolf Steiner describes in his autobiography how shortly before 1900 he had an experience of Christ. He writes: “the culmination of my soul-development was standing in the spiritual presence of the Mystery of Golgotha [41] in a most profound and solemn festival of knowledge.”* This experience fundamentally transformed him and thus decisively imprinted the character of anthroposophy, in which term “Christ-Impulse” [xxiv] becomes central (including the activities of the associated adversarial-powers!). He also pointed to the fact that, after the year 1900, western humanity would increasingly develop the capacity to “cross over the threshold.” [42]


Rudolf Steiner, The Course of My Life (Autobiography), GA 28, end of Chapter 26.

Undoubtedly, the modern development of “new spirituality” has everything to do with this new capacity. [43] Rudolf Steiner indicated this development in several books and lectures. However, he has also made observations about these phenomena. In his opinion, a new spirituality without a social dimension [44] was counter-productive. In a lecture given December 12, 1918 in Bern, he gave an urgent and unmistakable warning. But he gave it in a positive sense when he said: “the Christ Impulse, calling us of our own free will to receive consciously and freely the social impulses which can help heal humanity today.” (GA 186, pg. 18)

We have determined that this social dimension is, in point of fact, the very “proof of the pudding” when it comes to the issue of stigmatization.

Even within Christian theology we can observe an interesting development. In the 20th Century, the “theology of de-mythologizing” played a major role. But since the turn of our new century there has been a reversal. We can speak about the growing number of spiritual experiences reported by many people. Among other things, divine experiences are manifesting as well as an encounter with Christ. Both processes are decidedly personal. Various theologians are involved with it. For example, in Holland we have the PKN theologians Henk de Roest and Martien Brinkman. Henk de Roest focuses on events in our immediate environment while Martien Brinkman speaks to global developments. [PKN = Protestant Church of the Netherlands].

In the same vein is the growing consciousness of reincarnation in the Western world. Today that would include about 25% of the population in both Europe and North America. [15] [45]

Rudolf Steiner categorized human evolution in seven distinct stages. He called these stages “cultural epochs.” [46] He situated the 4th epoch between 747 BC and 1413 AD; the 5th from 1413 to 3573. So we find ourselves now in this 5th [cultural] epoch. In turn, we are preparing for the 6th [cultural] epoch, which begins in approximately 1,500 years. The hallmark of this 6th [cultural] epoch is “unconditional love” that Rudolf Steiner called the “Key of David.” He called this period “Philadelphia,” [47] referring to the 7 churches in the Book of Revelation. Thus we are halfway between “Calvary” and “Philadelphia”. Modern evolution requires “complete Christification.” The Christ Impulse works via human beings upon the development of individuals, humanity and world. Thus is man invited, in freedom, to participate in: “God needs man.” Otherwise nothing will happen.

This process of “complete Christification” has three aspects. The first is the “experience of Christ.” It occurs in the practice of everyday life, but also in special situations, such as ritual, reading from scriptures, meditating or praying, when you “take the path to the inner life.” The second aspect is the coming to consciousness of these events. You ask questions and seek to find the context. What is actually going on? It also plays a role in exegesis and theology.

The third aspect relates to the attainment of knowledge. How can we put together a developmental perspective from “Alpha to Omega?” [48]

For all three aspects, the achievements of stigmata, as described above, are playing a role. Anthroposophy can add value as a “path of knowledge.”

The Discussion Meeting of October 13, 2012

Fifty people came together for this conversation, 28 women and 22 men. A good diversity of viewpoints produced a lively discussion. After the first question, which dealt with the report of the last 8 years, [49] the rest were only general: What happens during stigmatization? What is its significance for the environment? Why is it happening now and also within the Anthroposophical Society? What is the relationship between the visions of Rudolf Steiner and the “time traveling” of Judith von Halle? Is there a correlation with the increasing occurrences of threshold experiences after 1899, when the Kali Yuga age [50] ended?

With Judith von Halle, it is not just about the quality of her lectures and books, but also about her radiance, which is experienced as “very loving.” So why should this lead to stress within the Anthroposophical community?

On one hand, the research work of Sergei O. Prokofiev on this topic is known. As a way of questioning, his work could certainly be valuable. But his conclusions and arguments are formulated in such absolutist terms that it precludes any kind of conversation.

The categorical rejection of the stigmatization and the activities of Judith von Halle by both the Vorstand [Board] of the German [Anthroposophical] Society and the Vorstand of the General Anthroposophical Society have conspicuously led to a “quarantine” situation. The members have not been informed about it nor are they allowed to speak about it. Many participants deeply regret this state of affairs.

Is this about a lack of communication or are there questions of competence to be asked?

The research of religious history raises some questions about the background of the phenomena. Do such phenomena occur in other religions? Does Buddha have a definite function here? How do we judge the manifestation of the bleeding? What is the power behind the occurrence? Judith von Halle has written about it: “This transformed bodily organization is composed of body, soul and spirit and is called forth through the Christian nature of compassion and suffering.”* 

* Judith von Halle, And If He Had Not Been Raised..., page 35.

This debate reminds us of the concept of “compassion” (Karen Armstrong) [51], in which contemporary theology plays a significant role as a counterweight to the hardening tendencies in society.

The question is: how does the encounter with Christ as an ever-increasing universal phenomenon relate to the merging with Christ, which can result in stigmata? In the encounter with Christ, you can — even in the very first instance! — look into his eyes, and see there the intense torment as the effect of pain that humans so often inflict upon each other. In the mystical merging with Christ — again, even in the very first instance — you can look through His eyes. And then you will see something quite different!


Now to the question of how stigmatization relates to anthroposophy.

Is Anthroposophy in a position to answer the many questions about stigmata by academic Religious Studies? What would actually happen if mainstream scientific findings were brought together with the spiritual scientific results of Rudolf Steiner? You could compare it to the weaving process. Mainstream science delivers the “warp” of many centuries of observations and reflections. Anthroposophy then forms the “woof” that provides context and patterns.

One case in point is the significance of the whole phenomena for future karma [52], as exemplified by St. Francis of Assisi. You can also relate that to the “spiritual economy” of Rudolf Steiner. [53] What happens to the individualities who had stigmata during their incarnations? Do they even acquire a special mission during the period between death and rebirth, like supporting those living on earth in their development? Many unanswered questions still remain, such as:

What is the nature of the transformation of the bodily constitution?

How do the particular higher members of the human organism change, and, specifically, what happens to the “I”? [54]

How does the stigmatized person who cannot tolerate any food, maintain enough “energy?”

Can unconditional love create the power of resurrection? (Something like it is noticeable whenever we express great enthusiasm for anything.)

How do we assess meditation in this light?

Is there some connection with the so-called “homeless souls”? [55]

Can we better understand this event if we consider it from a future perspective in the sequence of three cultural epochs: the 4th, 5th and 6th?

The Mystery of Golgotha happened during the 4th epoch. Man began to construct his “I” organization [56] and especially developed freedom as a human faculty. [sic] In our present 5th cultural epoch, this attribute of freedom developed further and added accountability. In the 6th epoch, which will begin in about 1,500 years, it [sic] is all about the quality of unconditional love: “the destiny of the Other is also my destiny.” We are now developing this element. The instrumentality here is compassion. In this light, then, can we capture a bit more of the background of the Stigmata-Mystery?



Books by Judith von Halle

And If He Had Not Been Raised... - The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man with contributions by Peter Tradowsky, 3rd Edition 2009.

The Lord's Prayer --- The Living Word of God (I), 2nd Edition, 2007.

Secrets of the Stations of the Cross and the Grail Blood: The Mystery of Transformation (II), 2nd Edition, 2008.

The Last Supper --- From pre-Christian Cult to Transubstantiation (III), 2nd Edition 2008.

Illness and Healing and the Mystery Language of the Gospels (IV), 2007

Descent into the Depths of the Earth: on the Anthroposophic Path of Schooling (V), 2nd Edition, 2009.

The Mystery of Lazarus and the Three Johns --- John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, John of Zebedee (VI), 2009.

Life at the Turning Point of Time --- and its Spiritual Background (VII), 2009.

The Christmas Idea in the Isis-Horus Myth – the Ancient Monotheistic Understanding of the Egyptian Mysteries (VIII), 2009.

Christ Hewn out of Wood --- Rudolf Steiner, Edith Maryon and the Christ-Sculpture, 2nd Edition, 2008.

The Representative of Humanity --- Between Lucifer and Ahriman: The Wooden Model at the Goetheanum with John Wilkes, 2008.

Dementia – An Anthroposophical Perspective, 2nd Edition, 2010.

The Modern Christ-Encounter and the Spirit of the Goetheanum, 2010.

Crisis and Opportunity --- The Free School [of Spiritual Science] and its Importance for the Karma of Anthroposophical Society, 2010.

Joseph of Arimathea and the Path of the Holy Grail (IX), 2011.

Rudolf Steiner, Master of the White Lodge --- an Occult Biography, 2011.

Followers of Christ --- The Mysteries Behind the 12 Apostles (X), 2012.

The Templars --- The Grail Impulse in the Initiation Rites of the Knights Templar. Volume I. 2012.

(Books listed with Roman numerals are in the series: “Contributions toward an Understanding the Christ Event.”)

R.T. (Rob) Steinbuch





About twelve years ago – before I had heard of Judith von Halle – I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story, The Bald Inquisitor, about what would happen if Rudolf Steiner were to return to earth and visit the Goetheanum. I include it here not – please believe me – not because I wish to imply that Judith von Halle is Rudolf Steiner reincarnated. But to imply that the General Anthroposophical Society is so intent upon repeating what Rudolf Steiner wrote and said or is said to have said that if someone new were to come along, someone who is able to continue Steiner's work rather than endlessly repeat it, write and above all lecture about it, that new person would be ignored, rejected, and attacked as un-anthroposophic – even if she were Rudolf Steiner himself. 

Now along comes Judith von Halle who, although she is not RS, is certainly someone trying to continue and enhance Steiner's Christology. However, it's not that simple in her case. As you have read above, she not only bears the stigmata, she does not eat – not that she is able to survive without eating, she can not eat, it makes her ill. Admittedly this adds an element of sensationalism to the spiritual recipe. But the authorities of the Society in Dornach (as well as most of those of the Anthropsophical Society in Germany) do not accuse her of fraud in respect to the stigmata, the not eating or the time travel. What they – especially Prokofioff – object to is that such things are atavistic, and therefore are not only not anthroposophical but are also inimical to anthroposophy. You may think: Well, but maybe he's right. After all he's an expert on anthroposophy. However, he doesn't even know her, he has never met her and says it is not necessary – whereas Ms von Halle has repeatedly offered to meet with Prokofieff.

In 2011 I was in Germany with my wife and was to travel by train from Munich to Berlin. Checking the von Halle group's web page, I noted that Judith was scheduled to give a lecture in Kassel, a city along the Munich to Berlin train route. Well, why not stay overnight in Kassel, see and hear Judith von Halle and continue to Berlin the next day?

My impressions: The Anthroposophical Society's home in Kassel is a miniature Goetheanum, and the large lecture hall was full. Judith received a warm welcome and seemed grateful. She is an attractive young woman – now forty-ish – dressed in a long black dress with a tan vest, long black hair. Slim? well, what did you expect? Visible flesh-colored bandages cover the palms of her hands. She is simpatica, but not a charismatic speaker. More intellectual, very well prepared. She spoke for an hour and forty minutes (too long for my taste) without notes about Lazarus and the three Johns in the New Testament: John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and John Zebedäus. The book upon which the lecture as based was on sale. I bought it, but it still doesn't grab me as a particularly interesting subject.

But Judith von Halle certainly does. I regret that I couldn't stay longer in Kassel, because the next day she would be answering questions. Does she really “time-travel”. I don't know. My inner jury is still out on that one. But I do not doubt that she is sincere and believes that she does. I think that is enough to take her seriously. [57]

Frank Thomas Smith, editor


P.S. Thanks to Tom Mellett for translating half of Rob Steinbuch's article.


(Originally distributed by the signers)








"Open Letter" - or - The Judith von Halle Phenomenon Continued
with copies to the publisher “Verlag am Goetheanum” and to the Executive Council (Vorstand) 
of the General Anthroposophical Society and to other leading figures at the Goetheanum.

Translation: Tom Mellett and Frank Thomas Smith

April 8, 2013

Dear Mr. Prokofieff,

Your book, Time Travels – A Counter-Image of Anthroposophical Spiritual Research (Verlag am Goetheanum, 2013), provides us with a clear justification to address this open letter to you. We do this because the book is not only a renewed and ruthless attack on Ms. Judith von Halle – against both her person and her writings – but above all because the depictions in your book are neither anthroposophical nor spiritual-scientific, nor can they be upheld in any way as objective, besides which you have so far rejected any discussion in this matter.

Since the book was published at the Goetheanum, then this letter is also being sent to the editorial board of the publisher and the leadership at the Goetheanum. As you know, Ms. von Halle is a member of the General Anthroposophical Society and a member of the Free School for Spiritual Science. [58] She has written a series of books on anthroposophical-Christological themes, and, in most cases, she has provided, “a priori,” a concise characterization of her personal and methodological foundations. They are — in addition to the given “continuity of consciousness” — the specific anthroposophical forms of super-sensible cognition (Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition). [59]

Since 2004, and concomitant with her stigmatization and abstention from food, she has developed an ability to perceive events that are distant both in space and in time — and to perceive them in a sense-perceptible (or “quasi-sense-perceptible”) way. [60] Since that time, Ms. von Halle has described, among other things, the actual events of the life, the dying, the death and resurrection of Christ as well as the lives of other people central to Christianity. The descriptions are partly super-sensible [61], partly quasi-sensory and partly from both perspectives. You, Mr. Prokofieff, call the work of Ms. von Halle “deeply un-Christian,” or else refer to it as the “end of anthroposophy.”

In your present book, Time Travels, you describe her work as “blasphemous” (p. 17), as a “sophisticated attack on anthroposophy,” as “intentionally occult,” that her work is driven by “explicit spiritual powers" and is “hostile to” Rudolf Steiner and his work (p. 114). All of this could be, according to you, “deduced with certainty” on the basis of anthroposophy (p. 114). These allegations are exceptionally serious because they were formulated when you were still a member of the Vorstand [Executive] of the General Anthroposophical Society, and because your new book has been published by the “Verlag am Goetheanum”. In accordance with our understanding, your intention in making these allegations is to obliterate the existence [sic] of Ms. von Halle from the [Anthroposophical] Society. Therefore we are obliged to speak out in no uncertain terms: If your statements in their details and in their totality are not true and if they are not based on Spiritual Science and on the Gospels, but rather on irrational speculation, as it appears to us, then your accusations amount to spiritual defamation. We believe that this is true. Therefore, concerning this matter, we urge you to perform some critical self-reflection. The following examples establish the necessity for it:

You criticize, and in an extremely polemical way (p. 65-68), Ms. von Halle’s interpretation that Lazarus was not merely in a death-like sleep before his raising, but was in fact dead (pp. 65-68). But what do we read in the Gospel of John? Jesus said: “Lazarus is dead.” Martha said: "He already stinks." Rudolf Steiner also related the raising of Lazarus and others to the three-day sleep-like state of the ancient initiations; but, in addition to this, he also said: “The earthly body [of Lazarus] was actually dead for three days.” (GA 08, Chapter: The Lazarus Miracle). Your polemic on this point, Mr. Prokofieff, is utterly devoid of any foundation.

Concerning von Halle’s interpretation, you scoff and write (p. 64): “However, according to von Halle, the bound-up corpse remained behind in the grave and an entirely new body for the I of Lazarus arose within a few hours...” and you see this in contradiction to the Gospel of John, where Lazarus came out of the grave “with his hands and feet bound up in the shroud”. But Ms. von Halle’s description does not allow anyone to conclude that a bound corpse remains behind in the grave. She describes the Raising [of Lazarus] as an unreal figure, appearing to Christ Jesus as “sleepwalking and fully detached from its binding shroud.” [emphasis added by signatories]. (J. von Halle, The Mystery of Lazarus and the Three Johns, 2009, p. 125) . For all your ridicule, Mr. Prokofieff, there is just no underlying factual basis.

Ms. von Halle writes that the two thieves crucified next to Jesus were not nailed down, but instead were tied with their arms spread over the crossbeam. Against this, you hypothesize that this claim cannot possibly be true. Otherwise, since the Sabbath was approaching, the two robbers would not have required their legs to be broken. This was done so that they could no longer be supported by their legs and as a result, they would speedily die. As you write, if the thieves had only been tied, then they “would have been able to survive for hours with broken legs” (p.55). But this is a complete fabrication on your part.

Contrast that with a fact easily accessible in the public domain today: A few years ago, when all Alpine mountain climbers had to be roped under the armpits, they were most terrified by the prospect of “hanging free” at the end of the rope. Why? Because after a few minutes, the climber would lose consciousness and could not survive for long after that. – What’s more: your alleged "circumstantial evidence" presupposes that it was in fact the lower extremities, the "legs," that were deliberately broken. But the Greek word for “legs” = skevlh can also be translated as "limbs" or “bones” and thus there is perfect agreement with the [Biblical] John-Isaiah* prophecy of Christ: “Not a bone of him shall be broken,” ( John 19:37)*. After all, this version exactly fits J. von Halle’s description of the scene. By contrast, your evidence against Ms. von Halle is lacking logical substance.

*[Ed. note: The bone-breaking prophecies are found in Exodus & Psalms, but not in Isaiah and the correct Gospel verse is John 19:36.]

You postulate that Ms. von Halle wants to lead the reader’s view away from the spiritual down to the “mere earthly-physical.” (p. 72). That is an odd assertion. After all, the title of Ms. von Halle’s first book is: And If He Has Not Been Raised... : The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man. Plus her writings all shed light on the spiritual background of the Christian mysteries. Moreover, it is not true that, as you write, that [sic] von Halle has focused “solely” on the sufferings of Jesus and that this demonstrates a "ecstatic plunging into her own feelings." Of course we must not overlook the fact that Rudolf Steiner had criticized the exclusively one-sided focus on the suffering of Jesus, but, on the other hand he also said: “the connection of humanity with the pain of Christ must always become more and more specific and concrete.” (GA 148, P. 277/8). And yet it is just these descriptions by Ms. von Halle that can be excellent contributions toward that end.

Next you write that stigmatized individuals, such as Ms. von Halle, are intensely focused on Good Friday, while the Mystery of the Resurrection remains closed to them (p. 75). Thus the stigmatic Anna Katharina Emmerick in her book The Bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, wrote more than 200 pages about Good Friday, but only 7 pages on Holy Saturday and not even 2 pages for the Resurrection on Sunday. But, obviously, in a collection with this title, the Good Friday events must have top priority. If you want to criticize A.K. Emmerick with this line of argument, then you should have already sifted through her entire work, for then, the ratios would turn out to be something else.

But now for Ms. von Halle herself: Her first book, mind you, is entitled And If He Has Not Been Raised... and here we find the exact opposite of what you say: 9 pages about the crucifixion on Good Friday (p. 77-85), 21 pages on the events of Holy Saturday (p. 87-107), and 27 pages concerning the Resurrection on Easter Sunday (pp. 141-167).

Ms. von Halle explains that, at the Last Supper, the chalice contained large and equal quantities of wine and water — all transformed into Christ's own spiritual blood — and it was distributed to the disciples for them to drink. Then Christ washed his own hands in the leftover portion of this spiritual blood. Thus he indicated symbolically that he takes responsibility of his own free will for the sacrifice of his being and was not bound by the capriciousness of the betrayal. Then he had this fluid — wine and water, his spiritual blood — distributed to the disciples in the cup, and they drank it. (J. von Halle, The Last Supper, 2008, pp. 99-100) At this, you comment, Mr. Prokofieff: “In retrospect, I had to ask myself how anyone would really know of such rituals where the hands are washed in the body and blood of a man.”

“Every well-read person knows of such rituals as the black magic mysteries of the Mayans, where, among other things, the body of the captured person was sliced up and the priest actually washed his hands in the blood-soaked intestines or other organs” (p. 38). - Dear Mr. Prokofieff, we are astounded. You denounce von Halle because she attributed a corresponding black magic activity to Christ!

But where does Ms. von Halle write about a prisoner? Or about cutting open his intestines? Where does she mention the material blood of a man slain physically? Or the washing of hands in blood-soaked human bodies? Ms. von Halle wrote of something diametrically opposite: namely, the spiritual blood of Christ, which had moistened his hands. – Mr. Prokofieff, your reasoning is abstruse, and unfortunately your book contains many similar accusations. Even in your earlier writings you have included depictions of Ms. von Halle as completely mistaken and in your latest book you repeat many of them: she’s wrong about the Last Supper, the Grail Cup, Gethsemane, the shape of the cross, the Baptism.

Just as in these other cases, as well as in your accusation of somnambulism, your criticism of Ms. Von Halle is undeniably the same as given in the above examples, that is to say, baseless and specious. The relevant details will be published in an article to appear in the Journal of Anthroposophy in the summer of 2013. That manuscript was already delivered to you by its editors in the fall of 2012, and also the Verlag am Goetheanum and the Goetheanum leadership should have received their copies by now.

It is not only individual examples and specific sentences — all we need do is quote from your current book — but also that your positions and your methodology are in principle extremely dubious. It begins when you omit whatever Ms. von Halle says about her own methodology. You are silent on her specifications for the abilities of Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition; and omit her abstention from food and her stigmatization (“I'm not interested”) and you dismiss it as “her private life,” or “a personal matter” (p. 8). On the other hand, however, that has not stopped you from arguing that stigmatization has no justification whatsoever in the context of anthroposophy and furthermore is a symptom of a pathological condition. (S.O. Prokofieff, The Resurrection in the Light of Anthroposophy, 2008, pp. 157-169)

After putting those many blinders on your vision, you end up taking into account only her quasi-sensory perceptions of past events, but then with a peculiar and incomprehensible twist: you refer to these quasi-sensory perceptions — which obviously cannot be achieved with physical sense organs — as “body-bound, sense perceptions” (e.g. p. 22) or as “physically-bound visions,” and then say this is the “counter-image of anthroposophical spiritual science” (the very title of your new book!). But these "body-bound sensory perceptions,” these kinds of visions, are entirely yours, Mr. Prokofieff, they are your own individual and personal misrepresentations of what Judith von Halle stands for. But you do correctly criticize your own distorted imaginings.

According to her own words, Ms. von Halle executes her quasi-sensory perceptions of past events with the help of the so-called phantom-body. As we all know, the phantom-body is a central aspect of anthroposophical christology.

Indeed you yourself built up a sizable theoretical structure against Ms. von Halle upon which your own conception of the Mystery of Golgotha is built (described in your two books The Mystery of the Resurrection in the Light of Anthroposophy (2008) and And the Earth becomes Sun (2012).) Your concept contends that the resurrected one did not appear in the phantom-body to Mary Magdalene and the disciples, but in his etheric body. [62] Nevertheless Rudolf Steiner, whom you constantly rely on, specifically emphasizes that Mary and the disciples saw the phantom body (GA 131, 10/12/1911).

Steiner characterized this body seen by the disciples (the phantom-body) as an “etheric body condensed to the point of visibility” (GA 130, 1/9/1912), that is, an etheric body condensed to a physical spatial body, or an etherized physical body, so to speak. The stigmata areas are especially thick, especially compressed. Steiner speaks of “scars” on the condensed etheric body — the phantom-body (GA 130, 1/9/1912).

What happened to this phantom-body? According to Steiner, it was duplicated in the spiritual world and since then can be gradually received by people who prepare themselves for it (GA 131, 10/14/1911). Is it then so difficult to understand that this phantom-body, which is no material body, but a thought-body, a “real thought in the outer world” (GA 131, p. 150), that this phantom-body is not subject to the material conditions of time and space and is endowed “with all the [structural and functional] characteristics of the physical body” (GA 131, 10/11/1911)? Perceiving, which corresponds to sensory perception, is also potentially possible, thus quasi-sensory perceptions, but not bound to spatial and temporal limits; and furthermore that [sic] under the influence of this phantom-body, this especially condensed etheric or force-field-body (Steiner used both expressions) can for certain people affect his/her substance formation and therewith also abstention from food.

In this respect, Rudolf Steiner explicitly referred to the hyper-sensitivity of the phantom-body to physical foodstuffs (GA 131, page 185). Anthroposophical conceptions offer an explanation of how, through a special “force of attraction” to the phantom–body (GA 131, 10/14/1911), the following attributes may arise simultaneously, when appropriate: stigmatization, inability to digest food and the capacity for quasi-sensory perception of past events. [63] Therefore the specific situation of Ms. von Halle's life and capabilities betoken neither the “end of anthroposophy”, nor is it “deeply unchristian” and also no “seed for the destruction of the anthroposophical research method” (page 31).

You are obviously mistaken in all this, Mr. Prokofieff, and you have been careless in the selection and details of your arguments. We read that you consider your attacks against Ms. von Halle as your duty towards anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner (page 10). Unfortunately, however, you have thereby fallen completely into error.

In this retort we would have liked to take the condition of your health into consideration; but Ms. von Halle's health has also been considerably affected by the repeated attacks against her person and her work. And unrelated to these personal situations, your accusations are neither comprehensible nor tenable nor acceptable. They are no less than slanderous. There is however a possibility for correction: Beg Ms. von Halle's pardon, distance yourself from the book and instruct the publisher to withdraw it.

Until now you have rejected any discussion about the subject. However, if in reference to this letter you should feel the need, we are ready and willing to discuss it.

Sincerely,

Helmut Kiene, Benediktus Hardorp, Wolfgang Gutberlet, Elisabeth Achtschin, Werner Achtschin, Horst Biehl, Lore Deggeller, Rosemarie Froese, Johannes Grebe-Ellis, Harald Johan Hamre, Dorothea Hardorp-Knauer, Angelika Heide-Jensen, Jan Heide-Jensen, Barbara Heitmann, Christof Heitmann, Ingrid Hüther, Rolf Karges, Gunver Sophia Kienle, Karl-Herrmann Lieberknecht, Immanuel Kohn, Alfred Kon, Volker David Lambertz, Silvia Müller-Leuzinger, Josef Morel, Georg Müller, Dietrich Rapp, Gisela Reich, Götz Rehn, Ernst Schuberth, Hermann Seiberth, Rolf Speckner, Kitty Steinbuch, Rob Steinbuch, Peter Tradowsky, Beatrice Werner, Götz Werner, Michael Wiesemüller.







Editor´s note: The signers of this "open letter" are, mostly, "prominent" (meaning influential) German anthroposophists, so their willingness to compose and/or sign this very strong defense of Judith von Halle has already had an effect on the General Anthroposophical Society...and beyond. However, in reading Ms von Halle's latest book, Anna Katharina Emmerick - eine Rehabilitation, (not yet available in English) I came to the conclusion that she is perfectly able to defend herself. The book is not a pamphlet, but a 352 page biography of Emmerick, a nineteenth century Catholic nun who also bore Christ's stigmata. It is called "a Rehabilitation" because von Halle considers that she, Emmerick, has been defamed and slandered by none other than Sergei O. Prokofieff. Von Halle claims that Prokofieff did not take the trouble to investigate the considerable amount of information available in libraries and elsewhere. In fact, he couldn't even spell her name correctly: He calls her "Katharina von Emmerich" — without her first name, misspelling her family name and adding the noble "von", ridiculous for a girl coming from a very poor rural family. [64] It is also obvious that Prokofieff is using Emmerick as a substitute for von Halle.

Following is a paragraph which gives an idea of Judith's style, at least when someone makes her angry (my translation): "...One of the principal criticisms of Anna Katharina Emmerick which Sergei Prokofieff makes – indirectly but clearly enough and repeatedly – is that she was not an anthroposophist. This criticism may amuse the reader and he may ask himself whether over 40 pages are necessary to assert it, as is the case in the appendix of Prokofieff's above mentioned first volume on the subject. Anna Katharina Emmerick lived about one hundred years before the founding of anthroposophy; she died exactly one hundred years before the founding of the General Anthroposophical Society. Given these facts, it is hardly surprising that she was not an anthroposophist - and that she was not herself the founder of anthroposophy can hardly be held against her..." (Page 28) FTS







VI. From Lochman-Verlag



Judith von Halle’s “Time Travel”




A recent publication of the Verlag am Goetheanum is Sergei Prokofieff’s book “Time Travel – A counter‐image of Anthroposophical Spiritual Research”, which sparked off intensive debate and also aroused hostility. For example, a committee addressed an open letter to Sergei Prokofieff calling on him to withdraw the book and apologize to Judith von Halle. The object of dispute is the “new” revelations of Judith von Halle, particularly in connection with the Mystery of Golgotha, which are in disagreement with both Rudolf Steiner and the Gospels.


Our readers also know that we have long been criticizing the “spiritual research” of Sergei Prokofieff – e.g. in the book of Irina Gordienko [65] published in our Verlag; we also reprinted in our “Graubuch” (Basel 2013, e.g. p. 75ff) [66] the main essence of the polemical exchange provoked by the book. In the present case, however, we agree with Sergei Prokofieff’s critique of Judith von Halle and admire the courage with which he, as a (former) Executive Council member, has taken such a stand publicly. The appearance of a phenomenon such as Judith von Halle shows on a fundamental level the extent to which the mood in the GAS [67] has alienated itself from Anthroposophy. A phenomenon of this kind can only arise if a large number of self‐declared Anthroposophists are experiencing needs of an unhealthy mystical nature. The affinity of many GAS members for the Catholic church could also account for the veneration of Judith von Halle: given an “Anthroposophical Saint” of our own, the Catholic church would have, at last, to “recognize Anthroposophy” — which Karol Vojtyla [68] is reported to have had some knowledge of. In this particular case there is the additional factor, that what one might call an intra‐GAS financial oligarchy gives backing to these “gory” revelations. [69] As we already mentioned in the Graubuch (Footnote p. 196), the billions owned by DM, Alnatura and Tegut are reported to stand behind Judith von Halle. All three business‐owners — Götz Werner (DM), Götz Rehn (Alnatura) and Wolfgang Gutberlet (Tegut) in addition to Benedict Hardorp, who always has a unique element to contribute to discussions within the GAS — were co‐signatories to the open letter to Sergei Prokofieff, mentioned above. It is only understandable that the GAS Council (Vorstand) should not “irresponsibly” put at risk this financial potential, and therefore lends no support to the critical publication of Sergei Prokofieff, who has retired from the Council for health reasons. But quite apart from this, the tolerance of remarkable esoteric phenomena [70] on the part of the Council is already quite considerable. Profanations and “refutations” of Rudolf Steiner by new “initiates” [71] tend to be welcomed, so it seems. And Sergei Prokofieff had already criticized the Council as a whole for its lack of respect for Rudolf Steiner.


We can, of course, be glad of any attempt made by adherents of Old Testament religions [72] to move forward, with the help of Anthroposophy, towards an updated understanding of the Christ‐Being. [73] Unfortunately, not all these attempts are crowned with success, while occasionally they turn into the opposite. In the case in question there is a further complicating factor: this Jewish girl attended the Jesuit Canisius College in Berlin, which contains, by way of the Ignatian‐Scholars‐Community (ISG), a “more advanced Jesuitic school”. [74] She herself maintains that in this period she attended a “Christian” college. What she attended in reality, however, was a purely Jesuitic institution, which is diametrically opposite to true Christianity. In addition, in Canisius College youth work is offered, involving Jesuitic exercises which can unquestionably lead to stigmatization phenomena. [75] In such a case one would need to ask what truth‐content there is in revelations arising from such will‐exercises. Unfortunately there are, so far as we are aware, no indications given of this in the biographical details of Judith von Halle. Can we exclude the possibility that she took part in this youth work? Has anyone asked her? This question is, unfortunately, not taken up in Sergei Prokofieff’s book. 


In our circular letters we have already dealt with the theme of Judith von Halle a number of times (cf. Graubuch, pp. 166, 184‐198, 203‐204, 216‐218, 253‐254), to point out the basic phenomena. Now Sergei Prokofieff in his book not only indicates a number of fundamental distortions but also explains in detail the incompatibility of many a “revelation” of Judith von Halle with the Gospels and the statements of Rudolf Steiner. Thus, Sergei Prokofieff rightly observes that today the path to the Christ takes on an entirely individual form as a pure encounter of the human “I” with the World‐“I” of Christ [76], with no mediation through another human being. To presume, for whatever reason, that one is, by virtue of physical characteristics, such a mediator [77] and, what is more, on the deepest karmic level, is a claim that lacks any justification. And if something of this kind happens, then we have to do inside the Anthroposophical Society with a pure “faith” stream, in which a question of cognition is made into a matter of belief. [78] Equally correct is the statement that we find ourselves, as a result of the self‐portrayal of Judith von Halle, in the middle of a war of religious belief. And Prokofieff points to Peter Tradowsky [79], a mouthpiece of Judith von Halle, who does not hesitate “to bring the culmination of Anthroposophy at the turn of the century into connection with Judith von Halle’s appearance on the scene” (Peter Tradowsky, “Und das Licht schien in die Finsternis”, p. 106f.). The special spiritual light which manifests in the individuality and the destiny of Judith von Halle is met by the darkness of today’s decadence, but also by the other darkness – of rejection and lack of understanding. 


And Sergei Prokofieff has also discovered a “chess‐move” of Judith von Halle, with which she wishes to gather in the “spiritual materialists.” [80] She points out in her first book “And if He had not Arisen”, that there is “no historical proof for the life, the working, the death and resurrection of Christ.” But again and again there are people “who, through a sensory experience of these events can, themselves, be a witness” for the deed of the Son of God. [81] And Judith von Halle describes herself not merely as someone who bears witness to something, but speaks for herself as a “living witnesss ... for the deed of the Son of God” (Prokofieff, p. 21). And as if that were not enough, she adds, according to Prokofieff, that their “perceptions are more encompassing than any document handed down to us can be, even more rich in detail than the Gospels, as we are dealing, as we said, with real sensory perceptions” (ibid.). And in pursuit of this goal Judith von Halle undertakes “journeys in time”, in which “all the sense‐impressions that we can have in waking consciousness on this side of the threshold are there – only transposed to a particular place and a particular time”. And Prokofieff points out that Rudolf Steiner calls this “the material mode of cognition” which has nothing to do with spiritual cognition in the Anthroposophical sense, which involves the stages of imagination, inspiration and intuition.


Sergei Prokofieff also refers to von Halle’s incredible story of the three initiates of the black Mysteries who cast by black magical means the nails for Christ’s crucifixion. [82] In addition he speaks of the remarkable occurrences during this lecture, which Judith von Halle held in the Great Hall of the Goetheanum in February 2007. “After she had spoken in a factual, down‐to‐earth way about Rudolf Steiner’s wooden carving [83], the lecturer, as she read out further, made a pause and suddenly spoke on with a changed facial expression and no longer with the same voice. It seemed as if a different person was now speaking. And now followed, to my utter astonishment, a horrifying story which had nothing to do with all that had been said previously, and was also delivered in such a way that it was no longer possible to approach what was being said, on a cognitive level” ... Von Halle: “Through the black magic ritual a Sorat power [84] had entered those three nails ... The Father was to lose the Son and therewith the human race” (v. Halle, p. 50‐51). A story that could deeply affect any Christian, and also provoked a comment from Gennadi Bondarev. [85]


Sergei Prokofieff concludes that it is a complete illusion to believe that by means of a few nails the Logos [86], who is the creator of the whole world [87], could “lose his Divinity.” It has in any case nothing to do with a cognitive process in the Anthroposophical sense [88], but brings us close to the magical worlds of “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter”. And in a similarly clear and objective manner Prokofieff examines other strange and illogical elements in the “revelations” of Judith von Halle. Yet despite this a group of nearly 40 people is circulating a public statement of opposition to this book. [89] However, the arguments in this five‐page article [90], including the following introduction, are by no means convincing: “Frau von Halle is a member of the General Anthroposophical Society and a member of the Free High School for Spiritual Science; she is the author of a series of books on Anthroposophical‐Christological themes and generally introduces these with a brief characterization of the basis of her work, on the personal level and in terms of method: this is ‘continuity of consciousness’ and, in addition, the specifically Anthroposophical forms of supersensible cognition (Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition). There has been added to these from 2004 onwards a capacity, accompanied by stigmatization and non‐ingestion of food, to perceive spatially and temporally remote events as though sensorily (‘quasi‐sensory’ perception) …”


It is certainly unusual to find respected figures and capable businessmen thinking that they can appeal to criteria of this kind as proof of someone’s powers of occult cognition. The “revelations” of Judith von Halle contain, without question, certain errors and thereby lose, altogether, their credibility. Only naive or dazzled and deluded people can take her writings seriously. A number of eminent personalities are trying nevertheless to refute Herr Prokofieff with a string of assertions and slanderous allegations. They wish, at all costs, to establish Judith von Halle as an Anthroposophical saint. But the spirit that speaks out of this pamphlet [90] strikes one as very Jesuitic and seems to correspond to the supposed faculties that Judith von Halle may have acquired during her years of schooling at the Canisius College in Berlin. Sergei Prokofieff also maintains that, in his view, there is no reason to bring Judith von Halle into connection with the phantom of the Risen Christ. If such a claim continues to be made, however, this would be tantamount of [sic] an attempt to underline the importance of her as a person, and of her body‐bound visions, and legitimize it through her alleged relation to the phantom. Prokofieff argues also, that Judith von Halle appears to have virtually no conception of what the phantom is. Also very important is Prokofieff’s indication that Judith von Halle’s “revelations” correspond in a high degree to those of the Catholic saint Anna Katharina Emmerich.


A further remarkable phenomenon is Judith von Halle’s recent publication: “Anna Katharina Emmerich – a Rehabilitation” (Dornach 2013)! And Sergei Prokofieff concludes this theme with a quotation of Rudolf Steiner, which shows the phenomenon in the right light: “If clairvoyance arises of itself, the best thing is, therefore, not to say to oneself that one has been graced by God with something not acquired [by means of a regular spiritual‐scientific path of training]; the best thing in such a case is to be suspicious” (GA 161, 1.5.1915). [92] Further dubious claims, impossibilities, absurdities even, are pointed out by Prokofieff, involving things that are never elementary, but always the most sacred or the most terrible, of which she creates distorted images: Christ, Sorat, the Lamb of God, the Cross on Golgatha, the raising of Lazarus, Christ’s Passion, the Resurrection body. [93] And according to Sergei Prokofieff it was the revelation of Anna Katharina Emmerich which enabled Christianity to be received with open arms in Hollywood. Mel Gibson is said to have explained that it was not the Gospel but Anna Katharina Emmerich who provided him with the material that he was able to use in his film “The Passion” (2004). Maybe Judith von Halle will provide Hollywood with further impulses – Jesus Christ slaughtering animals, perhaps, as “a human being like you and me”, in order to profane Christianity still further.


In view of the likely prospect that, to meet its adherents’ growing demand for spirituality, the Vatican will have, sooner or later, to assimilate a few Anthroposophical concepts, it is conceivable that this could be achieved with the help of a bridge in the form of an Anthroposophical saint. [94] And this would not only correspond to the wishful thinking of Michael Frensch [95] who, already in Hermetika, saw the Catholic Church as the moral authority for Anthroposophy.


[Excerpt from Symptomatologische Illustrationen, Nr. 94, 8‐9/2013]







VII. From Wynstones Press



Sergei O's Critique



In 2013, Sergei O. Prokofieff published 

— first in German, then in English —

a lengthy analysis and criticism of what he called

"the phenomenon of J. v. Halle."

Here are some excerpts, 

along with some explanatory commentary of my own.


— R.R.



"The information and rumors regarding my standpoint towards Judith von Halle, which have been launched in wide circles of the Anthroposophical Society and beyond in recent years, prompt me to correct some of them here." — Sergei O. Prokofieff, 'TIME-JOURNEYS' - A Counter Image to Anthroposophical Spiritual Research (Wynstones Press, 2013), p. 9.


One of S. O. Prokofieff's central arguments 

is that the essence of Anthroposophy

and its true approach to Christ are wholly spiritual,

whereas J. v. Halle's stigmata, etc., 

are merely physical 

and thus basically unimportant. 

They should not awe or sway anyone.


"J. v. Halle's private life is her personal matter and does not interest me. In my view this includes all physical markings that can appear on a person, as well as a person's relation to taking nourishment ... I must confess that I am not interested in such phenomena at all, because out of anthroposophy and out of my own inner experience, I know that Christ must be sought and found today solely in spirit ... All physical manifestations, of any kind whatsoever, do not pertain to this.


"In this respect one can share the opinion of Richard Pollak [96] — an anthroposophist and esoteric pupil of Rudolf Steiner — who regarded his physical markings (stigmata) as belonging to the past [97] and not to the anthroposophical path of schooling, and was fully supported in this judgment by Rudolf Steienr, with whom he had spoken about this." — Ibid., p. 10.


Just as he accepts that some people 

have borne stigmata,

S. O. Prokofieff accepts that some people 

are able to live without food.


"Additionally, it does not concern me whether J. v. Halle takes in nourishment or does not require it. I am aware that the phenomenon of living without food exists in the world ... [O]ne meets this phenomenon particularly with some fakirs and yogis in the East, and less often with some Christian saints." — ibd., pp. 10-11.



But S. O. Prokofieff contends that 

Anthroposophists make a grave error

when they are swayed by these 

merely physical "wonder-phenomena."

It only deflects them from the 

true Anthroposophical path.


"It is a mystery to me why, ever and again, the demand is made that within the Anthroposophical Society one must occupy oneself with various 'wonder-phenomena' (such as physical markings or living without nourishment) ... [I]t in no way pertains to the tasks of this Society." — Ibid., p. 11.



S. O. P. insists that he bears 

no malice toward J. v .H.;

his criticisms are not personal.


"I would like to take this opportunity clearly to dismiss all allegations that I have a personal antipathy towards J. v. Halle or that there exists a bad karma between us. For me, especially the latter idea belongs to the completely unfounded fantasies of people of a not entirely healthy state of soul." — p. 12.



S. O. P. is critical of J. v. H.'s 

approach to spiritual research,

which he says relies on processes 

bound to the physical body,

and he especially objects to her claim 

that Christ speaks through her —

that she is the mediator between 

Christ and humanity.


"I would like here to express openly that I regard this state of J. v. Halle's [that Christ speaks through her] as a blasphemous pretension. For the path to Christ today forms itself — and the whole of anthroposophy speaks for this — in a fully individual way, as a pure meeting of the human 'I' with the World-'I' of Christ, without any mediation through another person." — p. 21.


Anthroposophists who accept J. v. H. 
as their mediator will never truly reach Christ,
S. O. P. contends. They veer from the true path 
as laid out by Rudolf Steiner.
Their error is most clearly shown 
in their virtual deification of J. v. H.
They treat her as if she were a goddess 
embodying the culmination of Anthroposophy.

"The extent to which J. v. Halle is deified within her circles becomes apparent by the fact that...P. Tradowsky brings Rudolf Steiner's predicted culmination of anthroposophy [98] around the turn of the century — from the twentieth to the twenty-first century — directly into connection with J.v. Halle's emergence. [99]" — p. 23.


S. O. P. argues that J. v. H.'s 
professed investigative technique
— traveling through time to observe events 
with exquisitely sharpened physical senses —
is irredeemably false.

"[W]e are here [in J. v. H.'s claims concerning her observation of Christ] concerned with physically-bound sensory perceptions, which due to a 'time-journey' are set back about 2,000 years. This would be as if one were able to look through a keyhole into the room of the Last Supper, listening...smelling...and seeing ... [I]t is clear that we are speaking about perceptions that are only mediated through the physical senses [100] ... It is precisely the body-bound character of such sensory perceptions that stands in stark contrast to what Rudolf Steiner gave us as the modern path of anthroposophical schooling". — pp. 26-27


J. v. H.'s lectures and writings set forth fantasies
 that are wholly unsubstantiated, S. O. P. asserts.
They are false. They are matters of belief (or disbelief),
not true knowledge of the kind that 
valid Anthroposophy produces.

"When one hears or reads [J. v. H.'s words], one is faced with a real problem. For given the complete absence of any verifiable knowledge, one can only believe this story — or not. This has nothing to do with the cognitive process in the anthroposophical sense [101]; rather it brings us nearer the magical worlds of The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. [102]" — p. 36.



S. O. P. accuses J. v. H. of misapplying 

Anthroposophical terminology

and passages taken from Steiner's works

in order to hoodwink Anthroposophists 

and elevate herself.


"In summary, it must once more be said that perhaps the worst part about this impenetrable mixture of body-bound visions, anthroposophical terminology and the results of Rudolf Steiner's research is the fact that in virtually all of J. v. Halle's books, anthroposophy along with its terminology is put to use in order to make her own visions quasi-'anthroposophical' and hence, believable to anthroposophical readers. She also uses direct citations from Rudolf Steiner toward this end, in no small measure. This, however, does not alter the fact that the source of her visions has nothing to do with anthroposophy itself, nor with the results of Rudolf Steiner's research." — p. 37.













Schisms, debates, and feuds
are common among Anthroposophists.


Here is a book by Anthroposophist Judith von Halle:



AND IF HE HAS NOT BEEN RAISE -

The Stations of Christ's Path to Spirit Man

(Temple Lodge Publishing, 2007)




Here is a book by Anthroposophist Sergei O. Prokofieff
attacking Judith von Halle:



'TIME JOURNEYS' -

A Counter-Image to Anthroposophical Spiritual Research

(Wynstones Press, 2013)




And here is a book by Anthroposophist Irina Gordienko
attacking Prokofieff:



SERGEI O. PROKOFIEFF -

Myth and Reality

(Lochman-Verlag, 2001)










Another sample passage from JvH's output
(chosen more or less at random
as being more or less typical):



"Due to its huge dimensions and power, this unresolved destiny [i.e., the destiny of the living Earth], accumulating increasingly in the lower strata of the earth organism, makes a lasting impact on the spiritual researcher’s soul [e.g., JvH’s soul]. As he descends through the layers of the earth, a considerable part of his attention is focused on what will, as a result of the destiny-constricting seeds humanity itself has planted, come towards it again in future with fully germinated power and vehemence. The earth therefore already contains a disposition towards it next evolutionary step. The spiritual researcher can perceive the disposition to such evolution, as it were casting his gaze forwards to the future of earth and humanity. He sees that what has not been resolved by the next earth death [i.e., the next death of the Earth itself, in a process of reincarnations], and will therefore not have been transformed, will form something like a dark sister planet to the new incarnation of the earth body. A ‘sub-physical’, spiritual dark Jupiter will form alongside what Rudolf Steiner described as the subsequent earth incarnation, the Jupiter stage [i.e., Future Jupiter]. In his commentary on the Apocalypse of St. John, Rudolf Steiner described this formation as a kind of spiritual ‘cinder ball.’ There is no question it will exist alongside the spiritualized Jupiter earth, that tends towards the good, and that its germ is already contained in the earth’s interior as much as that of the evolving sun earth [i.e., the Earth as it will be when it becomes a sun]. As we evolve toward the next great pralaya [a pause in the evolutionary flow], it will become ever clearer how great or small the one and the other spiritual earth body will be in future. To keep the cinder ball as small as possible, is something that has been given over to our responsibility since the Mystery of Golgotha [i.e., the life and death of Christ Jesus].” — Judith von Halle, DESCENT INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE EARTH (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2011), pp. 40-41.








And one more sample,
this one chosen very much not at random:



“A very profound and multilayered cosmic secret surrounds these stigmata. It will have to be enough to say that these stigmata are the channels for the etheric forces which radiate the Christ Spirit out into the sphere of the Earth ... The stigmata remain as the symbol of the Resurrection body, which is the spiritual archetype of the forcers of the physical body. Because Christ had been at work in the spheres of Lucifer and Ahriman through the nailing to the Cross, the loss of blood and through death, these have become a part of the spiritual archetype of the physical body, the body of the future for mankind ... Since the days of the Resurrection specific influences can emanate from the points of the stigmata in humans — for every human, even those who do not bear the stigmata in a way that is visible to the senses ... [F]or each one of us who 'brings himself into the right relationship with Christ' the corresponding points on the hands and feet (the wound on the side as well) also acquire a highly important significance." — Judith von Halle, AND IF HE HAS NOT BEEN RAISED... (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2007), pp. 141-142.










STEINER ON STIGMATA


A Few Quotations



“In the fourth exercise, the pupil's body must become as foreign to his feelings as any external object — a stick of wood for example — and he must not say ‘I’ to his body. This experience must become so much a part of his feelings that he says: ‘I carry my body about with me as I do my coat.’ He connects his ego no longer with his body. Then something occurs which is called the Stigmata. What in many cases might be a condition of sickness is in this case a result of Meditation, because all sickness must be eliminated. On the feet and hands and on the right side of the breast appear the so-called Stigmata; and as an inner symptom, he beholds the ‘Crucifixion’ in an astral vision.” — THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN (Anthroposophic Press, 1962), lecture 11 (“Christian Initiation”), GA 103.



“[A]s a fourth experience he had to develop the feeling that his body was no more for him than any other object in the world. He carried the body with him only as an instrument. In many Mystery-schools one learned to accustom oneself to speak in the following way: ‘My body goes through the door,’ and so on. In this way the mystic experienced in himself the Crucifixion. He saw himself crucified. The outer symbol was that during the meditation stigmata appeared at the places of the wounds of Christ — in the hands, in the feet and in the right side. This is the blood-trial of the Mystic, the fourth stage of initiation.” — ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), lecture delivered Nov. 27, 1906, GA uncertain.



“The fourth stage is that of the Crucifixion. A new and quite definite feeling must be developed. The pupil must cease to regard his body as the most important thing for him; his body must become as indifferent to him as a piece of wood. He then comes to look quite objectively on the body he carries with him through life; it has become for him the wood of the Cross. He need not despise it, any more than he does any other tool. The outer sign for having reached this stage is that during the pupil's meditation red marks (stigmata) appear at those places on his body which are called the sacred wounds. They do indeed appear on the hands and feet, and on the right side of the body at the level of the heart. The inward sign is that the pupil has a vision of himself hanging on the Cross.” — AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1986), lecture 13, GA 95.



“The fourth stage is the crucifixion. Through this a person learns to feel his own body as a foreign object, something like a piece of wood. He no longer connects his ego with his body. In the spiritual world he sees himself with the cross on his back. With this the fourth stage is reached. Physically the stigmata appear. In the case of certain saints this is no myth. It indicates that they have reached the fourth stage. Such saints are bearers of the cross.” — THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), lecture 2, GA 94.



“Perhaps it has not yet occurred to all those of you who have read the earlier elementary cycles, and so have met with Christian Initiation in its seven stages, that owing to the intensity of the experiences which must be undergone, the effects go right into the physical body. For through the strength and power with which we go through these feelings, it really is at first as if water were washing over our feet, and then as if we were transfixed with wounds. We actually feel as if thorns were pressing into our head; we feel all the pain and suffering of the Crucifixion. We have to feel this before we can experience the Mystical Death, the Burial, and the Resurrection, as these also have been described. Even if we have not gone through these feelings with sufficient intensity, they will certainly have the effect that we become strong and full of love in the right sense of the word. But what we then incorporate can go only as far as the etheric body.


“When, however, we begin to feel that our feet are as though washed with water, our body as if covered with wounds, then we have succeeded in driving these feelings so deeply into our nature that they have penetrated as far as the physical body. They do indeed penetrate the physical body, and then the stigmata, the marks of the bleeding wounds of Christ Jesus, may appear. We drive the feelings inwards into the physical body and know that they develop their strength in the physical body itself. We consciously feel ourselves more in the grip of our whole being than if the impressions were merely in the astral body and etheric body. The essential thing is that through a process of mystical feeling we work right into our physical body; and when we do this we are doing nothing less than making ourselves ready in our physical body to receive the Phantom that went forth from the grave on Golgotha. Hence we work into our physical body in order to make it so living that it feels a relationship with, an attractive force towards, the Phantom that rose out of the grave on Golgotha.” — FROM JESUS TO CHRIST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1973), lecture 10 (“The Esoteric Path to Christ”), GA 131.


— Compiled by Roger Rawlings












Therese Neumann.

[Public domain photo.]





"When Therese Neumann of Konnersreuth lived f7or decades solely from the Holy Communion, it does not mean that she suffered a measure of hunger that for any other person would be deadly — that she hungered superhumanly — but rather that the measure of calories needed by her organism was taken in through other means than by an outer imbibing of nourishment,” — Valentin Tomberg, LAZARUS, COME FORTH! (SteinerBooks, 2006), p. 118.








The formatting at Waldorf Watch aims for visual variety, 
seeking to ease the process of reading lengthy texts on a computer screen. 








ENDNOTES



[1] This is the Anthroposophical headquarters building. It is located in Dornach, Switzerland. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"] Arlesheim is a neighboring community.

[2] 
◊ "Stigmata, singular stigma, in Christian mysticism, bodily marks, scars, or pains corresponding to those of the crucified Jesus Christ—that is, on the hands, on the feet, near the heart, and sometimes on the head (from the crown of thorns) or shoulders and back (from carrying the cross and scourging). They are often presumed to accompany religious ecstasy. [paragraph break] The first example of the alleged miraculous infliction of stigmata occurred in St. Francis of Assisi ... In the next century the same alleged wonder occurred to a Dominican sister, Catherine Benincasa, better known as St. Catherine of Siena ... From the 14th to the 20th century, more than 300 persons were identified as having been stigmatized; more than 60 were declared saints or the blessed in the Roman Catholic Church." — THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, 9/29/15. 

◊ "There are two main reasons for believing the stigmata are usually self-inflicted rather than psychosomatic or miraculous. One, no stigmatic ever manifests these wounds from start to finish in the presence of others. Only when they are unwatched do they start to bleed ... And two, Hume's rule in 'Of Miracles' is that when an alleged miracle occurs we should ask ourselves which would be more miraculous, the alleged miracle or that we are being hoaxed? Reasonableness requires us to go with the lesser of two miracles, the least improbable, and conclude that we are witnessing not miracles but pious frauds ... Reasonableness seems to require the non-miraculous explanation ... Self-inflicted wounds are common among people with certain kinds of brain disorders. Claiming that the wounds are miraculous is rare, however, and is more likely due to excessive religiosity than to a diseased brain, though both could be at work in some cases." — Robert Carroll, THE SKEPTIC'S DICTIONARY, 9/30/15.

[3] If von Halle uses the term as Steiner did, "Zeitgeists" are gods — Time Spirits — who preside over specific cultural epochs. [See the entries for "Time Spirits" and "Cultural Epochs" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[4] Ita Wegman (1876-1943) is credited with co-founding Anthroposophical medicine alongside Steiner.

[5] Edith Maryon (1872-1924) sculpted the statue of Christ, Ahriman, and Lucifer designed by Steiner; it stands in the Goetheanum. [See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?"]

[6] See "Plays".

[7] According to Steiner, the "phantom" is the reconditioned spiritual essence of the physical body; it is the spiritual form that holds the physical body together. [See the entry for "phantom" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] "Present earth evolution" is our current stage of spiritual evolution, called Present Earth. Future Jupiter will be the next major stage of our spiritual evolution. [See the entries for these terms in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[8] I.e., The Verlag am Goetheanum is the official press of the Goetheanum. The General Anthroposophical Society is the central, official body of Anthroposophy, headquartered at the Goetheanum.

[9] The "spiritual science" promoted by Anthroposophy is the use of clairvoyance to objectively study the spirit realm. In theory, spiritual science may be undertaken by non-Anthroposophists, but the practice of spiritual science is central to Anthroposophy and, within Anthroposophy, spiritual science is often discussed as if it were nearly indistinguishable from Anthroposophy itself.

[10] This is a relative term. "Bestselling" Anthroposophical texts have far smaller distribution than ordinary bestsellers — they generally sell well only within the Anthroposophical community.

[11] Sergei O. Prokofieff (1954-2014) held high positions within mainstream Anthroposophy, and he authored numerous Anthroposophical publications. He was one of the most vocal critics of Judith von Halle within the Anthroposophical movement. He should not be confused with the Russian composer Sergei Prokofieff (1891-1953).

[12] Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) was an Italian priest who reportedly bore stigmata. He is now venerated as a Catholic saint.

[13] Actually, Anthroposophy is polytheistic, and Steiner taught that "God" (or the Godhead) is extremely distant. [See "Polytheism" and "God".]


[15] Steiner actually wrote something on the order of 30 books. The other books attributed to him consist of transcripts of his lectures, discussions, meetings, and the like; the transcriptions were made by devoted followers.

[16] I.e., Steiner. (However, von Halle's teachings often diverge significantly from Steiner's, and this is one cause of the controversy surrounding her.) 

[17] Eurythmy is a form of dance devised by Steiner. [See "Eurythmy".] The article's reference to "eurythmy enthusiasts" is evidently meant to signify Anthroposophists.

[18] This is the Free Association for Anthroposophy mentioned in the previous article.

[19] The body conceived in this way is an expression (an outward vestment) of one's spiritual individuality or ego. [See "Ego". For some of Steiner's teachings about blood and the blood system, see "Blood".]

[20] I.e., methods of clairvoyant, spiritual-scientific investigation; methods of initiation. [For an overview of Anthroposophical views on initiation, see "Inside Scoop".]

[21] See, e.g., "Knowing the Worlds".

[22] This quotation is presumably meant to put Steiner's imprimatur on the notion that one can live without being bound by the physical body. Someone living thus would, perhaps, not need food — mere physical sustenance. (GA numbers indicate volumes of Steiner's complete works. "GA" is an abbreviation of "Gesamtausgabe," meaning total or complete works.)

[23] I.e., nonphysical organs of clairvoyance. [See "Knowing the Worlds".]

[24] The "Christ impulse," according to Steiner, is the impetus given to human evolution by Christ, the Sun God incarnate on Earth.

[25] Christology is the branch of theology concerned with the nature and role of Christ.

[26] See the page "Christ Events"; also see the entry for "Christ Event" in the Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

[27] Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824) was a Roman Catholic canoness who reportedly bore stigmata. She was beatified in 2004.

[28] Written in Holland for a Dutch audience, this piece emphasizes matters particularly interesting to the Dutch. But its central themes extend to all of Anthroposophy. 

[29] "Supersensible" phenomena, as discussed in Anthroposophy, are phenomena that can be perceived only through clairvoyance; ordinary senses do not suffice.

[30] I.e., one must accept the divine invitation to receive the stigmata by uttering a particular word of affirmation.

[31] The list of these "occurrences" is clearly tailored to suit the case of Judith von Halle. (Likewise, it seems clear that von Halle patterned her professed condition on reports about previous stigmatics.)

[32] "She" apparently refers to Judith von Halle, although a more general reference may also be intended. Most stigmatics have been female. (THE SKEPTIC'S DICTIONARY gives a figure of approximately 80%.)

[33] Actually, some stigmatics have seemed to court, and thrive on, publicity. (Judith von Halle herself has hardly hidden her professed condition. While she lives largely in seclusion, she has emerged repeatedly to deliver lectures, and she publishes widely, sometimes making direct or indirect reference in her writings to her professed condition.)

[34] Freedom (of a highly constricted kind) is important, at least notionally, in Anthroposophy. [See "Freedom".]

[35] This would be true only if the professed stigmatic submitted to examination by qualified medical practitioners. A stigmatic like von Halle, living largely in seclusion, avoids much scrutiny.

[36] This is a (fantasized) celestial storehouse of knowledge, accessible through clairvoyance. [See "Akasha".]

[37] See, e.g., "Yoga", "Gnosis", and "Rosy Cross".

[38] See the entry for this term in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

[39] 
"On the shores of the Black Sea there existed an occult school which lasted far into the Christian era. This school was guided by certain human beings who set themselves as their highest ideal that part of the teaching of Buddha which we have just described, and through their having taken into themselves the Christian impulse along with it, were able in the early centuries of Christianity to throw new light upon what Buddha had given to humanity ... One...pupil of the occult school on the Black Sea, was born in his next incarnation as Francis of Assisi." — R. Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (Steiner Book Centre, 1970), lecture 2, GA 155. 

[For more on Anthroposophical teachings about reincarnation, see "Reincarnation".]

[40] See the entry for "consciousness soul"  in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

[41] Essentially, this is the mystery of the redemptive incarnation of Christ in the body of a human being, Jesus. [See the entry for "Mystery of Golgotha"  in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[42] I.e., pass over the threshold separating the physical realm from the spiritual realm.

[43] Steiner offered his own work, Anthroposophy, as the chief manifestation and mainspring of this new spirituality.

[44] The social dimension of Anthroposophy is found in such endeavors as Waldorf education and Anthroposophical medicine. It is also reflected in Steiner's proposals for reorganizing society in accordance with the principles of "threefolding". [See "Threefolding"].

[45] I.e., approximately one out of four people in these regions believes in reincarnation, or so it is sometimes said.

[46] Actually, Steiner's vision of evolution was far more expansive. Steiner taught that cultural epochs are subdivisions of great epochs, which are subdivisions of stages of form, which are subdivisions of conditions of life. The largest divisions of our evolution, Steiner taught, are conditions of consciousness, also called planetary conditions. [See the entries for all these terms in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] 

[47] 
"[W]hen humankind finally reaches the point where it has made enthusiasm for the good into a reality, then what is called the Christian ideal of brotherhood will have appeared. This sixth territory can receive its name only from the ideal of brotherhood, and 'Philadelphia' is the city of brotherly love." — Rudolf Steiner, READING THE PICTURES OF THE APOCALYPSE (Anthroposophic Press, 1993), lecture 4, GA 104a. (The reference is not, of course, to the city of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania, USA.)

[48] I.e., from beginning to end.

[49] I.e., the period since Judith von Halle's stigmata allegedly first appeared.

[50] This was the spiritual dark age that, Anthroposophists believe, ended in 1899 when Rudolf Steiner began delivering spiritual lectures.

[51] Karen Armstrong is a prolific writer on religious themes.

[52] Along with belief in reincarnation, belief in karma is central to Anthroposophy. [See "Karma".]

[53] Steiner sometimes spoke of "soul economy" and "spiritual economy." By the former, he generally meant making prudent use of one's psychic energy in order, ultimately, to develop clairvoyant powers. By the later, he generally meant a process that preserves spiritual wisdom or spiritual benefits from one phase of evolution to the next. 

"[A] spiritual economy exists by virtue of the fact that something of special value is preserved and carried over into the future." — Rudolf Steiner, THE PRINCIPLE OF SPIRITUAL ECONOMY (Anthroposophic Press, 1986), lecture 2, GA 109.

[54] See "Ego"; also see the entry for "I" in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia

[55] I.e., souls who do not feel "at home" on the physical plane during Earthly incarnation. 

"[T]he souls who descend from pre-earthly to earthly existence can be divided into two groups. One group, to which the majority of people today still belong, comprises those souls who can make themselves remarkably at home on earth ... Other souls...less able to make themselves at home [on earth], are homeless souls ... This latter group includes those who are subsequently attracted to the anthroposophical movement." — Rudolf Steiner, THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), lecture 1, GA 258.

[56] I.e., the structure of the spiritual ego. (Like all things spiritual, according to Steiner, it evolved.)

[57] Von Halle's apparent sincerity about her own teachings should not sway us. Severely deluded individuals sincerely believe in their delusions, but this tells us nothing except that they are severely deluded. Then again, clever frauds may make a convincing pretense of sincerity, but they are nonetheless frauds. In this sense, von Halle is again much like Steiner: She is either severely deluded or she is a conscious fraud.

[58] The Free School of Spiritual Science (otherwise called simply the School of Spiritual Science) is an academy within the General Anthroposophical Society. The School is devoted to teaching and extending Steiner's doctrines and clairvoyant "research." Both the Society and the School are headquartered at the Goetheanum.

[59] These are the three levels of clairvoyance often mentioned in Anthroposophical texts. [See the entries for these terms in in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] Whether Judith von Halle employs accepted modes of Anthroposophical cognition, or roves astray, is a central point of contention.

[60] I.e., she claims that at least some of her spiritual findings result (or partly result) from the extreme sharpening of her ordinary senses. (But precisely how she accounts for her spiritual discoveries — what forms of cognition she uses and how they work — are matters of dispute.)

[61] Supersensible cognition, in Anthroposophy, is clairvoyance (perception that does not rely on the ordinary senses). Von Halle claims to use more than one type of cognition.

[62] The etheric body is the lowest of the three invisible bodies that, Steiner taught, humans develop. [See "Incarnation".] It is different from, but closely connected to, the "phantom body." (The debates among Anthroposophists — sometimes quite heated, as in this instance — may strike outsiders as essentially pointless: disputes over fine points of fantasies that have been mistaken for realities. All the participants in these debates are mistaken to the degree that they all embrace, in one form or another, the falsehoods that comprise Anthroposophy.)

[63] The authors create misleading impressions at several points, such as this. Note that they claim Steiner's authority for some of their beliefs, but not for others (while creating the impression that everything they say is consistent with Steiner's teachings).

[64] Much of the criticism contained in the open letter consists of nitpicking. If the "von" in the name "Katharina von Emmerich" is arguably an error, nonetheless the form of the name as used by Prokofieff is generally deemed acceptable. See, e.g., THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, "Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick" (Anne Catherine Emmerich). ("Catherine" and "Katharina" are essentially the same name.) Note, too, that the peasant Therese Neumann is identified as "Therese von Neumann" by Rob Steinbuch in the fourth item included on this page. "Von" is an honorific, and it is sometimes applied to the names of non-aristocrats purely to be polite. Hence, Prokofieff's use of the name "Katharina von Emmerich" may be judged permissible.

[65] Anthroposophist Irina Gordienko wrote a critical examination of Prokofieff's work, SERGEI O. PROKOFIEFF: MYTH AND REALITY (Lochman-Verlag, 2001), accusing Prokofieff of misinterpreting Steiner. 

[66] See GRAUBUCH ANTHROPOSOPHISCHE GESELLSCHAFT (Lochman-Verlag, 2013).


[67] I.e., the General Anthroposophical Society. The argument advanced by the Lochman-Verlag suggests that numerous members of the GAS, in "doing" Anthroposophy by their own lights, have strayed far from the central tenets of Anthroposophy. Hence, these members allegedly distance themselves from Rudolf Steiner himself. (Prokofieff accused them of showing disrespect for Steiner, which — if true — would be truly startling, given their central position within Anthroposophy.)

[68] Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II.

[69] I.e., an inner group of GAS members fears alienating the rich businessmen who support Judith von Halle. (The "gory" revelations are von Halle's teachings.)

[70] The reference here is to the strange phenomena associated with Judith von Halle. But of course all Anthroposophists are inclined to accept at least some "remarkable esoteric phenomena": They generally accept the strange phenomena associated with Rudolf Steiner (his claimed clairvoyant powers, etc.).

[71] This refers mainly, if not exclusively, to Judith von Halle, whom the authors accuse of profaning and disputing Steiner, rather than honoring and extending his clairvoyant discoveries. (The authors clearly do not accept that von Halle is a true initiate.) 

[72] The authors allude, here, to Judith von Halle's Jewish heritage. (Some readers may detect an apparent strain of anti-Semitism in some parts of the Lochman-Verlag statement.)

[73] See the entry for "Christ Being" in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

At this point, an extremely long and turgid paragraph begins. For the sake of readability, I have taken the liberty of breaking the mega-paragraph into small paragraphs, without omitting any words or sentences. Here is the mega-paragraph in its original form:

We can, of course, be glad of any attempt made by adherents of Old Testament religions to move forward, with the help of Anthroposophy, towards an updated understanding of the Christ‐Being. Unfortunately, not all these attempts are crowned with success, while occasionally they turn into the opposite. In the case in question there is a further complicating factor: this Jewish girl attended the Jesuit Canisius College in Berlin, which contains, by way of the Ignatian‐Scholars‐Community (ISG), a “more advanced Jesuitic school”. She herself maintains that in this period she attended a “Christian” college. What she attended in reality, however, was a purely Jesuitic institution, which is diametrically opposite to true Christianity. In addition, in Canisius College youth work is offered, involving Jesuitic exercises which can unquestionably lead to stigmatization phenomena. In such a case one would need to ask what truth‐content there is in revelations arising from such will‐exercises. Unfortunately there are, so far as we are aware, no indications given of this in the biographical details of Judith von Halle. Can we exclude the possibility that she took part in this youth work? Has anyone asked her? This question is, unfortunately, not taken up in Sergei Prokofieff’s book. In our circular letters we have already dealt with the theme of Judith von Halle a number of times (cf. Graubuch, pp. 166, 184‐198, 203‐204, 216‐218, 253‐254), to point out the basic phenomena. Now Sergei Prokofieff in his book not only indicates a number of fundamental distortions but also explains in detail the incompatibility of many a “revelation” of Judith von Halle with the Gospels and the statements of Rudolf Steiner. Thus, Sergei Prokofieff rightly observes that today the path to the Christ takes on an entirely individual form as a pure encounter of the human “I” with the World‐“I” of Christ, with no mediation through another human being. To presume, for whatever reason, that one is, by virtue of physical characteristics, such a mediator and, what is more, on the deepest karmic level, is a claim that lacks any justification. And if something of this kind happens, then we have to do inside the Anthroposophical Society with a pure “faith” stream, in which a question of cognition is made into a matter of belief. Equally correct is the statement that we find ourselves, as a result of the self‐portrayal of Judith von Halle, in the middle of a war of religious belief. And Prokofieff points to Peter Tradowsky, a mouthpiece of Judith von Halle, who does not hesitate “to bring the culmination of Anthroposophy at the turn of the century into connection with Judith von Halle’s appearance on the scene” (Peter Tradowsky, “Und das Licht schien in die Finsternis”, p. 106f.). The special spiritual light which manifests in the individuality and the destiny of Judith von Halle is met by the darkness of today’s decadence, but also by the other darkness – of rejection and lack of understanding. And Sergei Prokofieff has also discovered a “chess‐move” of Judith von Halle, with which she wishes to gather in the “spiritual materialists”. She points out in her first book “And if He had not Arisen”, that there is “no historical proof for the life, the working, the death and resurrection of Christ”. But again and again there are people “who, through a sensory experience of these events can, themselves, be a witness” for the deed of the Son of God. And Judith von Halle describes herself not merely as someone who bears witness to something, but speaks for herself as a “living witnesss ... for the deed of the Son of God” (Prokofieff, p. 21). And as if that were not enough, she adds, according to Prokofieff, that their “perceptions are more encompassing than any document handed down to us can be, even more rich in detail than the Gospels, as we are dealing, as we said, with real sensory perceptions” (ibid.). And in pursuit of this goal Judith von Halle undertakes “journeys in time”, in which “all the sense‐impressions that we can have in waking consciousness on this side of the threshold are there – only transposed to a particular place and a particular time”. And Prokofieff points out that Rudolf Steiner calls this “the material mode of cognition” which has nothing to do with spiritual cognition in the Anthroposophical sense, which involves the stages of imagination, inspiration and intuition. Sergei Prokofieff also refers to von Halle’s incredible story of the three initiates of the black Mysteries who cast by black magical means the nails for Christ’s crucifixion. In addition he speaks of the remarkable occurrences during this lecture, which Judith von Halle held in the Great Hall of the Goetheanum in February 2007. “After she had spoken in a factual, down‐to‐earth way about Rudolf Steiner’s wooden carving, the lecturer, as she read out further, made a pause and suddenly spoke on with a changed facial expression and no longer with the same voice. It seemed as if a different person was now speaking. And now followed, to my utter astonishment, a horrifying story which had nothing to do with all that had been said previously, and was also delivered in such a way that it was no longer possible to approach what was being said, on a cognitive level” ... Von Halle: “Through the black magic ritual a Sorat power had entered those three nails ... The Father was to lose the Son and therewith the human race” (v. Halle, p. 50‐51). A story that could deeply affect any Christian, and also provoked a comment from Gennadi Bondarev. Sergei Prokofieff concludes that it is a complete illusion to believe that by means of a few nails the Logos, who is the creator of the whole world, could “lose his Divinity”. It has in any case nothing to do with a cognitive process in the Anthroposophical sense, but brings us close to the magical worlds of “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter”. And in a similarly clear and objective manner Prokofieff examines other strange and illogical elements in the “revelations” of Judith von Halle. Yet despite this a group of nearly 40 people is circulating a public statement of opposition to this book. However, the arguments in this five‐page article, including the following introduction, are by no means convincing: “Frau von Halle is a member of the General Anthroposophical Society and a member of the Free High School for Spiritual Science; she is the author of a series of books on Anthroposophical‐Christological themes and generally introduces these with a brief characterization of the basis of her work, on the personal level and in terms of method: this is ‘continuity of consciousness’ and, in addition, the specifically Anthroposophical forms of supersensible cognition (Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition). There has been added to these from 2004 onwards a capacity, accompanied by stigmatization and non‐ingestion of food, to perceive spatially and temporally remote events as though sensorily (‘quasi‐sensory’ perception) …”)

[74] 
"[The Jesuits are] a Roman Catholic order of religious men founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, noted for its educational, missionary, and charitable works, once regarded by many as the principal agent of the Counter-Reformation, and later a leading force in modernizing the church. The Jesuits have always been a controversial group, regarded by some as a society to be feared and condemned and by others as the most laudable and esteemed religious order in the Roman Catholic Church." — ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, October 1, 2015. 

At least on some occasions, Steiner was highly critical of the Jesuits: 

"[T]here is the Society founded to combat the Christ, and with that came to set up a false picture of Jesus: the Jesuit Society." — Rudolf Steiner, A SOUND OUTLOOK FOR TODAY AND A GENUINE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), lecture 7, GA 181. 

[75] I.e., the Jesuits allegedly teach exercises that can cause stigmata to appear. The authors suggest that stigmata produced in this way are not truly miraculous, but are merely the result of willful efforts (such stigmata have no "truth‐content").

[76] According to Anthroposophical teachings, there are several levels of divine individual identity. [See the entries in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia for "I", "higher I", "highest I", and "universal I".] In a sense, the highest I to which we can aspire is the "I" of Christ that, at one level, dwells beyond the zodiac. At another level, it has infused the Earth since Christ's Crucifixion. [See, e.g., Sergei O. Prokofieff, RUDOLF STEINER AND THE FOUNDING OF THE NEW MYSTERIES (Temple Lodge Publishing, 1984), p. 89.]

[77] In claiming that Christ speaks through her, Judith von Halle has claimed to be such a mediator.

[78] As formulated by Steiner, Anthroposophy claims to be a science, not a religion. (Arguably, Steiner misrepresented his own creation, for Anthroposophy surely is a religion. See "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?") The authors, who hold that Anthroposophy is a science, here accuse von Halle and her followers of attempting to make Anthroposophy a religion. 

[79] Tradowsky, who was mentioned in previous items on this page, is the author of such books as THE STIGMATA and CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST.

[80] I.e., spiritualists who mistakenly dwell on material phenomena and employ the senses available on the material plane of existence — that is, deluded spiritualists.

[81] I.e., Judith von Halle offers her own sensory observations as proof. (She claims she has gone back in time and witnessed the Crucifixion, for instance.)

[82] Prokofieff alleges that von Halle says that three black magicians created special black-magical nails used to crucify Christ. 

[83] This is a monumental sculpture depicting Christ, Ahriman, and Lucifer. It stands in the Goetheanum.

[84] I.e., a power of the Antichrist. [For more on Sorat, the Antichrist, see "Bad, Badder, Baddest".]

[85] Anthroposophist Gennady Bondarev is the author of such works as RUDOLF STEINER'S 'PHILOSOPHIE DER FREIHEIT' AS THE FOUNDATION OF THE LOGIC OF BEHOLDING THINKING. RELIGION OF THE THINKING WILL. ORGANON OF THE NEW CULTURAL EPOCH.


[86] I.e., Christ, the living Word of God. [See "Logos".]

[87] In some teachings, Christ is credited with the role as Creator, but in most others he is not.

[88] I.e., the form of perception von Halle claims to use is different from that endorsed in mainstream Anthroposophy, as derived from Steiner.

[89] I.e., Prokofieff's book attacking von Halle, TIME-JOURNEYS.

[90] I.e., the open letter.

[91] I.e., the open letter.

[92] Steiner taught that some lowly forms of clairvoyance are suspect and unreliable; only disciplined, "exact" clairvoyance, of the type he claimed to possess, reliably yields truth, he said. A central objective for Anthroposophists is to develop such clairvoyance. [See "Knowing the Worlds".] The implication here is that von Halle's claimed clairvoyance is false.

[93] According to Steiner, the resurrected Christ had a purified "resurrection body," not an ordinary physical body. It was, in essence, the phantom of Christ. [See endnote 7.]

[94] The argument here is that if Judith von Halle is accepted as a true stigmatic, Catholic officials would come to see her as a saint, and thus Anthroposophy and Catholicism could be bound together (fulfilling a supposed objective of Jesuit and false-Anthroposophic conspirators). For traditional Anthroposophists, any amalgamation of Anthroposophy and Catholicism would be a terrible betrayal, fundamentally altering the nature of Anthroposophy.

[95] According to Prokofieff, editor Michael Frensch at Hermetika-Verlag helped promote the dubious project of finding ties between Catholicism and Anthroposophy.

[96] Richard Pollak (1867-1943), who was involved in the construction of the Goetheanum, evidently bore stigmata during various periods of his life. Rudolf Steiner reportedly told Pollak not to ascribe great significance to the stigmata, and he directed him instead to the Rosicrucian/Anthroposophical path. [See Sergei O. Prokofieff, THE MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION IN THE LIGHT OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2010), pp. 137-139 and 177-178.] 


[97] I.e., they represent a former stage of human evolution and are irrelevant in the new, Anthroposophical era.


[98] See "Millennium".


[99] I.e., Tradowsky claims that van Halle is the living fulfillment of Steiner's prophecy — he claims that van Halle is the culmination of Anthroposophy.


[100] I.e., they are bound to the physical body, they are not mediated through higher, nonphysical organs. Steiner taught that true cognition occurs through the development and use of nonphysical organs. [See "Knowing the Worlds".]


[101] I.e., exact clairvoyance. [See "Exactly".]


[102] I.e., van Halle's visions are pure fantasies; they are untrue. (In this, Prokofieff is surely correct. But he errs in failing to see that precisely the same criticism applies to Rudolf Steiner's teachings. [See, e.g., my "confession" in "Summing Up".])
















[R.R., 2015]














 
To visit other pages in sections of Waldorf Watch that include "JvH",
use the underlined links, below.


CLAIRVOYANCE AND DELUSION




CLAIRVOYANCE

The missing basis of Waldorf thinking


INSIDE SCOOP
Occult initiation in Anthroposophy


WHY?
Oh why? Oh why? Oh why?


FOOLING
Ourselves

EXACTLY
"Exact" clairvoyance

JVH

ESP
Case closed?

DECEPTION
Being fooled


DOPAMINE

Getting happy





ANTHROPOSOPHICAL CHRISTIANITY
also see "Religion, Spirituality"


Christmas : Waldorf-style

Easter : celebrating the spring

Michaelmas : banners and drums in autumn

Christian Community : not so Christian

events : specifically, Christ Events

JvH

Logos : the Cosmic Word

prototype : our representative

Sermon : on the Mount

Sun God : the Christ you didn't know

trinity : God, gods...