In my research on opponents
of Steiner, Bierl has come up more than once.
Peter Staudenmeier, in his attack piece Anthroposophy
and Ecofascism, acknowledges in a footnote
that "in this section [Waldorf education]
I have relied chiefly on the work of former
teachers like Rudolph as well as the excellent
critical study by Bierl." In the text
he claims that "independent scholar" Peter
Bierl's "extremely thorough research"
has demonstrated many of his points, and cites
him no less than thirteen times. But who is
Bierl? His work is not available in English,
and is not exactly easy to find in German either
books are out of print, and since they never
had mainstream distribution, are very difficult
find used, and are in almost no libraries). A
closer examination shows why. In examining his
work, German Anthroposophist Lorenzo Ravagli
has written the following summary,
which I have translated for an English-speaking
Peter Bierl und ÖkolinX:
" Everywhere esoteric idiocy"
The Süddeutsche Zeitung1
offers left-wing extremists and fanatical
atheists space for propaganda
1991 the Greens split into the "Realists"
(Realos) and "Fundamentalists"
(Fundis) – Jutta Ditfurth, Peter
Bierl und Hamburg based activists of the
Communist Alliance (Kommunistischen Bundes)
founded the "Ecological Left"
(Ökologische Linke) – an umbrella
group, in which the network of the left-wing
extremist scene is well anchored. They
stand explicitly hostile to parliamentary
democracy; indeed, Democracy and Fascism
are identified with each other as equal.
This yields some strange fruit: The attack
on the World Trade Center on September
11th is not considered by the representatives
of the central council of the Eco-Leftists
as an act of Islamic terrorism; rather
it is a "territorial struggle between
capitalist factions" (Verteilungskämpfe
von Kapitalfraktionen). The Federal State's
Constitutional Protection Office in Hessen
is monitoring this group as leftist extremists.2
Peter Bierl edits the newspaper ÖkolinX3
together with Jutta Ditfurth. It serves
as a base for his battle against "nationalistic
idiocy" (nationale Wahnvorstellungen).
Not only does he deny the very existence
of a "German People" (Volk)
- which he always places in quotation
marks, he denies that in principle "peoples"
(Völkern) exist. Bierl laments the
"racist policies of the National
United Front (nationalen Einheitsfront)
of the CDU/CSU, FDP, SPD und Greens4"
and curses the CDU in particular as the
"Successors of the Nazis".5
Jail is "obviously too mild a punishment"
for those who are guilty of believing
in the existence of nationality (nationale
Bierl, together with Jutta Ditfurth
others waged a campaign of defamation
(1862-1930), a theorist known for his
innovative ideas on money and interest,
calling the creator of the theory of
free (unhoardable) money "a fanatic",
"anti semitic" and "pro-capitalist."7
Bierl's primary field of agitation is
of course his battle against the Waldorf
Schools and Anthroposophy. In his book,
published in 1999, he denounced the Waldorf
Schools as "the fifth Colony of Neo-Fascism",
designated Anthroposophy as "an obscure
racist teaching" and a "racist
ideology" and located in it a "brown
The crime of Anthroposophy is that it
rejects the thought that it is possible
to change society, an accusation that
comes smack up against the next, that
Anthroposophy is the tip of the spear
of a pervasive, subversive conspiracy
against Democracy and The Enlightenment.
The success of the Waldorf Schools is
for Bierl "a part of a general right-wing
development and idiocy" namely, "esoteric
Besides his journalistic activities,
for example for the left-extremist daily
paper "Tageszeitung Junge Welt"
he publishes his execrable writings through
the Alibri-Verlag (a publishing house)
in Aschaffenburg, which is closely related
to the "Internationalen Bund der
Konfessionslosen und Atheisten" (International
Alliance of the Non-Religious and
There he finds himself in the company
of authors such as Colin Goldner10,
the brothers Grandt and the founder
the IzAK - R. Wiechoczek, who are here
united with other European atheists
the American umbrella organization "Atheist
Alliance International" to fight
against "rampant religious idiocy"
and the "dumbing down of humanity
But that is not all. Even a renowned
newspaper such as the Süddeutsche
Zeitung accepts the service of
"the mini-Bolshevik" and also
his companion in opinion, Colin Goldner,
and uses them for, among other things,
their anti-anthroposophy campaign. True
to his device "one does not speak
to Anthroposophists, only about them,"
Bierl uses the forum of the Süddeutschen
Zeitung as an effective multiplier
for his slanders. Why, one must ask,
the Süddeutsche Zeitung make
a protege of a left-wing radical political
sectarian and militant atheist? Is it
because of financial gain or simply
Translation and footnotes by Daniel Hindes
Zeitung - The South German News - a
conservative, and generally well-respected
regional newspaper in Germany.
2. The German
government has a department specifically
tasked to monitor groups who advocate
the overthrow of the German constitution
by violence. While its time is primarily
occupied with Neo-Nazis and right wing
extremists, the extreme left is also
their responsibility. Being "on
is a sign of how seriously the German
police take their political activities.
3. The title
ÖkolinX is a hip play on the words
"Ecology" and "Left"
- Öko as an abbreviation for "Ökologie"
and "LinX" as a phonetic play
on "Links" meaning "Left".
4. The CDU/CSU,
FDP, SPD und Greens are the five major
political parties in Germany - Bierl is
calling them all one United Front Party,
kind of like calling the Democrats and
Republicans together the "Demo-Publicans".
He argues that there is no difference
at all between them.
5. The CDU is
the major right of center party, with
around 40% of the vote. Roughly equivalent
to the Republican party in the US.
Gesell (1862-1930), author of The
Natural Economic Order, was a left-of
center social reformer.
7. The same
accusations they seem to level against
anyone they don't like - Steiner, Anthroposophists,
Spirit" - an implied fascist bent
- an allusion to Hitler's Brown Shirts
- the organized thugs who harassed the
Jews and other undesirables in the Third
a turn of phrase from Ernst Bloch.
of a book titled "Dali Lama, The
Case of a God-King" (only available
in German) in which he carefully explains
the central tenets of Buddhism with emphasis
on tantric sex, which he explains in
detail as well as its importance in the
life of a Lama. A whole section is devoted
to the "stupid joke of karma and
reincarnation". Not being an expert
on Buddhism or Tantra, I will forego
So I have my doubts as to whether
calling Bierl's work "extremely thorough
research" is a proper characterization.
The eco-leftists seem to stick together, creating
a self-referencing clique of "critical scholarship" -
critical in tone rather than quality.
And the rule "one does not speak to Anthroposophists,
only about them" helps ensure that their
conclusions won't ever have to encounter anything
as difficult as actual facts.