‘current health issues’

I’ve been informed earlier today that over on Anthroposophy Tomorrow, Ted Wrinch tells people I suffer from ‘current health issues’. For what it’s worth, and although it would certainly be nobody’s business if I were, least of all Ted’s, I don’t. So there’s definitely no need to delve into that or to shed any tears on my behalf. I’m not sure what Ted has in mind, possession by ahrimanic forces, presumably, but that’s not an established diagnosis in conventional society and medicine. Anyway, I’m perfectly fine. Unless you count a mild anthroposophical derangement.

Pathologizing someone seems to be one way for some anthroposophists to deal with dissent. That’s the way things are. I suppose people should know. Whether this ‘method’ endears anyone to anthroposophy is anybody’s guess, but presumably it can appeal to people who lack a capacity for critical thinking or, for that matter, empathy. I can’t say where Ted gets his misinformed ideas from, but I do know from the past that Sune has been posting and e-mailing people about things that are supposed to give the impression that I’m not quite well in the head. I think he should stop these silly antics, but, then again, Sune is immune to advice or viewpoints (quite an entertaining comment thread, that one…) from those he claims to be writing about.

It’s quite right, though, as Ted points out, that my blog has been blessed — if I may say so without sounding overly serene — with the presence of some unusually nice people. I’m grateful for that, of course. Some of them are also active on Waldorf Critics, but perhaps that’s beyond Ted’s grasp (as was the april fool’s joke — about the biodynamic wine glasses — which Ted fell for, and which subsequently seems to have prompted his recent posts).

As I already said on critics, I am indeed tired of crap-spouting morons, and I don’t think the Anthroposophy Tomorrow list is worth anyone’s attention (by the way, it does have this in common with a number of other websites and projects that clutter cyberspace). It’s plain stupid, despite Tarjei’s occasional wit and Frank’s fairly nice website elsewhere. What else can I say?

Nothing.

Except — I’m fine, thank you very much.

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46 comments

  1. Melanie · ·

    what a cheeky little anthropop he is. It reminds me of Jeremy Smith, then PR guru for the SWSF, suggesting anyone critical of Waldorf ed has obsessive compulsive disorder (which he obviously thought was a great joke) and suggesting they open a bottle of biodynamic wine and get over it. There seems to be a pattern emerging.

    I’m glad you’re fine btw. I have a slight cold.

  2. Oh poor you. That clearly makes you not guilty by reason of insanity for anything you might write.

    Yes, I remember that — it wasn’t one of Jeremy Smith’s brighter moments.

    He has a point about the wine though. Preferably champagne. Rudi drinks it all the time, to overcome his obsessive thoughts about various anthroposophical horrors. Works, temporarily. Until he wakes up. I’d like to ask Rudi about Ted, but we shouldn’t bother the dead with too many banalities of the living.

  3. That was my first look at anthroposophy tomorrow, and I think it will be my last. I will carry on reading the more erudite discussions to be found here.
    They don’t have the lovely photographs to enhance the experience either.

  4. Wise, Helen — it’s not a great experience from any viewpoint.

    And thank you!

  5. Glad you are well … I read that and was worried I had missed some announcement that you were ill.

    That list EXISTS to pathologize other people. Tarjei has been saying I am ill for years. This flows from anthroposophical beliefs about illness, which are of course your own fault karmically. At some point it became simply accepted and believed that Diana is ill. So perhaps they’ve simply added you to the sick list. Lately, they’ve been saying our punishment for all our crimes against anthroposophy will be dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. I have to say I don’t find that the least bit funny – if you have any association with people suffering these diseases, it is not funny to wish it on anyone.

  6. Oh, I see! I went back to the post where you tried to set Sune straight on this. It says (gasp) that you have seen psychiatrists; you have taken sleeping pills; and a variety of vague small problems of the sort that afflict millions of people worldwide that Sune grasped at to portray you as somehow troubled.

    A movement in which people will post on Twitter: “She has seen psychiatrists” or “She has trouble sleeping” and imagines this discredits its critics is simply not worth taking seriously. It’s simply asinine. From this the Ted Wrinches of the world pass along the gossip that you have “health problems.”

    Mind, Ted and Tarjei have both reported health problems publicly on that list … haven’t seen any speculation as to the karmic origins of their problems.

    We are all, as critics, guilty of “unlovingness,” remember, so we are all pretty susceptible to smallpox, though hopefully not until the next lifetime.

  7. Diana: ‘I read that and was worried I had missed some announcement that you were ill.’

    Good I wrote this post, then! I have no clue what he’s referring to, if anything. Presumably something someone made up, but I don’t know. I was quite surprised, I have to say.

    Perhaps that’s it, they just added me to the sick list. Then it’s surprising it didn’t happen earlier. What was incomprehensible was the way he put it ‘current health issues’. With emphasis on ‘current’.

    They should perhaps do some thinking about which punishments might be coming their way in terms of diseases.

    *

    I guess I have myself to blame for this, in a way — I should have pretended to have been a perfectly adapted child and (more importantly) teenager and have pretended I had never had any issues whatsoever since. The perfect human being. (It wouldn’t have fooled anyone, would it?) Of course, I don’t know what such concealment would have done to my writing; I can hardly pretend it would have been unaffected by it. Also, there’s that other aspect: why should one have to? I simply don’t think any of it suffices to dismiss me wholly. I don’t even think any of it is that different from what other people go through, except that other people don’t write about themselves to the extent I have done. Or have I? Or do they? I don’t know.

    One has to assume that the clientele at the anthroposophy tomorrow list (incl Sune who has posted there in the past) is a 100% psychologically sound, or we might have to infer ‘current health issues’. Oops.

  8. Diana — exactly. And he gets his picture, I guess, from picking and choosing incriminatory facts (most of them minor) from many, many posts. And then insinuating all kinds of things. (He has been writing people privately in the past, so it’s not just the blog posts, and as far as I understand it, he’s not been saying nice things. He does the same things to others, of course, so it’s not just me.)

    I’ve taken more than sleeping pills; I used to be quite messed up. To get these meds, whatever they are, you go to a psychiatrist. That’s how things happen, it’s self evident. There’s nothing particularly odd about it. Perhaps one sore point, for waldorf defenders, is that waldorf education doesn’t prevent a kid from being messed up — quite the contrary. Sometimes it messes the kid up even more. Of course, someone now thinks I ‘blame’ the school for everything. I’ll have to take that. In my teenage years (which are far behind me, mind you), I do think my previous ‘educational’ and social experience at the waldorf school affected me — that’s not to say it was the *only* cause or problem or anything. But you don’t go through any experiences without being affected — because then there would be no point to experiences in the first place. We could just float around, no end and no beginning.

  9. … well, maybe that *is* what they do, over at AT. They certainly don’t seem to be moving anywhere. Least of all forward.

  10. Melanie · ·

    ‘That clearly makes you not guilty by reason of insanity for anything you might write.’

    That’s a relief. Is it retrospective?

  11. If you had a cold at least once you’re excused for your entire life, past, present and future. Not sure if it works across several incarnations too. Maybe. At least it will affect your karma.

  12. Melanie · ·

    I’ll come back as a gnome with a red nose?

  13. Only if you’re lucky and have good karma otherwise. If you’re not, you’ll return as a blue gnome and will be condemned to live your life in a roundabout in Totnes.

  14. Melanie · ·

    ha ha! I saw the blue gnomes for the first time yesterday (I try to bypass Totnes). They were hideous.

  15. Yes, you see. One must wonder what they were up to in their past lives.

  16. I guess one has to conclude — from Ted’s recent postings* — that Ted’s reading comprehension isn’t the best in the world. One word whose definition he seems oblivious of is the word ‘current’.

    Turns out there was absolutely nothing behind his stupid post — nothing but conjecture. He indeed did make it all up. Apparently, he hadn’t even read the posts that could have been remotely relevant. He might have read something, but can’t remember, he says. In any case, it’s so old that he’s forgotten it — so it can hardly be a matter of anything ‘current’.

    He’s also miffed I ‘analysed’ that little ‘subpart’ of his post — in fact, I did so (but wouldn’t call it analysis, since it wasn’t) in part to say to (other) people I don’t suffer from any ‘current health issues’. I have little interest in Ted’s post otherwise.

    Now he conjectures, again, that I’ve had ‘serious mental health issues’ (interesting how he slipped the word ‘serious’ in there… it does change the impression of things, doesn’t it?). Presumably of a kind that would involve lithium. Certainly something that ‘don’t sound good’.

    Ted writes:

    ‘So, after rebutting my health suggestion, she appears now to be confirming it, Oh, well – I don’t really care either way and it wasn’t in anyway important to the point of my posting. As she says, her health is entirely up to her (except that if she posts public messages on the subject I do think it’s reasonable to assume that people may read them).’

    As I’ve stated already, and with this blog as the background it all becomes quite silly, I’ve never claimed I never had any issues in my past — I am not the perfect human without flaws, as I have pointed out too. But I do object to people spreading unfounded gossip about ‘current health issues’ that don’t exist, which is what Ted did in this instance. There’s a huge difference there, actually. For Ted’s information, I do actually assume people might read what I post — that applies to Ted too, and my advice to him is that he should read and comprehend before he goes posting things that are untrue.

    He also says he finds nothing of interest on my blog — that’s good, Ted. That might help you stay away from it.

    *http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/49973 It might serve as interesting study material, though I’m not sure if what you’ll see is the anthroposophy of tomorrow. (If so, what a harrowing perspective.) Other than that, it’s not very interesting.

  17. Glad you’re well, and that it was more of Ted’s nonsense.

  18. … in addition: I’ve said what I wanted to say to those I wanted to say it to, and have no intention to keep responding to (or reading, for that matter) Ted’s posts on AT.

    I’m kind of interested in speculating about why this is the way some anthroposophists choose to counter the claims of critics. I have one hypothesis — it’s not uncommon that dissent within anthroposophical ranks is treated the same way, as a sign of a pathological soul/personality. Perhaps Sune can enlighten us — after all, he has vast experience in insinuating things about people. Irrelevant things that in no way invalidate their arguments — but I guess Sune hopes that his is easily forgotten by his audience. So, is this how anthroposophists ‘argue’ among themselves? Is it all about people — and their supposed spiritual health or defective souls — rather than about topics? Why is it only the personal — among all the things I’ve had to say — that interests you?

  19. Thank you, Pete.

  20. Sune has the distinction of being the only Anthroposophist who has publicly threatened me with physical harm (I’ve had private threats before, of course, even against my kids). The evidence of his threat is probably still in the Wikipedia archives, if he or Harlan Gilbert haven’t expunged it from the record. To me, he’s an obvious sociopath – stalking mothers with children, threatening people with physical harm, living under dozens of internet aliases and so forth. I think it’s only a matter of time before he snaps and hurts someone. ;)

  21. Yup, I remember seeing it some time when I looked at these archives. In some ways it made him more human and less robotic ;-)

    If there’s one thing I can say about Sune, then it will be this: I’m 99% sure he’s totally harmless on the physical level. Or perhaps he’s just VERY afraid of me ;-) (He doesn’t live far away at all.)

    I’ve had a death threat — not against myself — posted on the blog many years ago. I traced it and know whom it came from, then deleted it under the assumption that it was the kids in the family who were stupid/silly/playing. Given the origin of that comment, I simply refuse to believe it came from an adult. But who’s to say.

  22. ‘Pathologizing someone seems to be one way for some anthroposophists to deal with dissent.’

    It makes me feel ashamed when I see anthros doing this. Of course they are not the only people who do it, – but they ought to know better. They ought to know about ‘Right Speech’ – in the Buddhist sense – speech which does not slander or defame, from which the ‘sharp needles’ of the ego have been withdrawn (see Steiner’s commentary on Mabel Collin’s “Light on the Path”)

    One of the things that makes the blog such a rich experience to follow is because you are so open and direct, Alicia, there is no pretence – and I believe this quality of yours calls forth honesty and directness in many of the contributors.

    I wonder what it is in Ted Wrinch’s soul that makes him feel the need to demean someone else rather than meeting her observations and arguments in an open and honest way with relevant one’s of his own.

  23. Thank you, falk. I wish I had time to respond more fully, but am falling asleep!

    Quite true, though — they’re not the only ones! It’s probably, and sadly, human. Anthroposophy needs to watch its cultish tendencies though, because they — I fear — can only exacerbate such and similar issues. Some of it quite apparent with Sune.

  24. He he he. I’ve come across that myself. I’m sick so I can’t help myself. I’m amazed at some of the things anthros will say to make themselves feel better about their choices.
    BTW pleased you are well.

  25. Well, perhaps it’s all for the best since it brought such a flurry of good wishes for your health :)

    But I feel partly to blame – my continued neurotic interactions with those jerks is partly what’s drawn them to you. Steve and Dan have been asking me to knock it off – to avoid having the critics list feature these weird arguments with people from another list – and I really will try, I promise.

    In any event, as you know I can certainly relate to the sleeping problems, I have been a chronic insomniac most of my adult life and as for psychiatric meds, I don’t know how it is in Sweden, but in the US something like two thirds of adults take them. I have taken antidepressants a couple of times in my life, for a couple of years each, though not in recent years.

  26. I agree, btw, about Sune – he wouldn’t hurt anyone physically. And I don’t think he’s a sociopath. Awhile back I read that book “The Sociopath Next Door” that was on the bestseller list here a couple of years ago – the author claims something like 1% of the population is sociopaths … people who literally have no conscience and can and will do anything to get what they want, regardless of who they hurt – they simply cannot have normal caring relationships with other humans and cannot empathize with another person, the only thing that matters is dominance and getting what they want. (The book has been criticized on a lot of grounds, but it was a rather chilling read.)

    That’s not Sune. He’s not without a conscience by any means, and his actions are not selfish. He totally believes what he is doing is for the benefit of humanity, and his outrage at critics of anthroposophy is genuine. He is simply a follower of a cult, a true believer. He isn’t without feelings, and he doesn’t intend to harm anyone, quite the contrary.

  27. Well, my comment about Sune was a bit tongue-in-cheek… but as to Sune’s conscience, what good is a conscience if you have no sense of what harm actually is? I agree he’s swept up in a cult but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. When he threatened me, I’m guessing he wasn’t serious (I didn’t feel threatened)… but when he threatened Mumsnet, he was absolutely serious – and his threats did, indeed, cause harm. Attaching a conscience to someone who should feel THAT ashamed of themselves, and continues their harmful behavior (even to the detriment of the cult he’s trying to help), is something I have difficulty doing.

    “Steve and Dan have been asking me to knock it off – to avoid having the critics list feature these weird arguments with people from another list – and I really will try, I promise.”

    I think I’ll join you in this to the extent I can. I don’t think giving Ted a voice on the Critic’s list is benefiting anyone.

  28. Another eye-opening thread.
    It is odd how true believers (of any creed) always accuse non- believers of having no moral code, no conscience, and yet they seem to be the ones whose behaviour most indicates a lack of sympathy with others.
    I have quite a few religious friends who mostly don’t inflict their views on me, but one recently asked what stops me from harming others if I don’t belive in any supernatural being.
    I am afraid I took that as an insult, it makes me realise how completely differently we see the world.
    The vehemence with which people will defend their unlikely ideas, as mentioned above, indicates a real fear of exposure.

  29. Glad the title of this post is a quote and that you’re ok – I read it and thought the same as everyone else…

    “Pathologizing someone seems to be one way for some anthroposophists to deal with dissent.”

    and avoiding discussing the issues.

    ” So, is this how anthroposophists ‘argue’ among themselves? Is it all about people — and their supposed spiritual health or defective souls — rather than about topics? Why is it only the personal — among all the things I’ve had to say — that interests you?”

    it’s an odd thing because many of the anthros I knew were hugely dysfunctional socially.

  30. Melanie · ·

    I suspect this kind of spite is often a result of boredom.

  31. Pete, I quite agree with you. I think it’s a fascinating and disturbing feature of cults. Followers are are otherwise ordinary people, they are not crazy of sociopathic or whatever … they are simply not rational where their guru is concerned. Sune is motivated mainly by the desire not to see his image of Rudolf Steiner hurt. The list of unethical things he’s done from this motivation is a mile long.

  32. falk, thanks for your positive contribution!

    Most anthroposophist I’ve met in RL are quite nice people, not at all like some of those posting at Anthroposophy Tomorrow. Which is a reminder of the dangers of labeling, categorizing and diagnosing others. This is an area where some of the AT guys excels in misuse of anthroposophical ideas. Some of the recent fantasies about the karmic anamnesis of critics are beyond weird.

    I hadn’t been posting for more than a few weeks on the waldorf critics list before someone on AT suggested that I lived in fear of being attacked by murderous hordes of Waldorf teachers in the apocalyptic War of All Against All. Funny, really. I once fought TOGETHER with a waldorf teacher for the benefit of someone dear to me. But the assignment of emotions (negative) and motives (hostile) to people they have absolutely no possiblity to know on a personal level seems almost routine for some of them.

    Elsewhere in the cafe, the dangers of using karmic and “temperamental” explanations and diagnosis of schoolchildren is discussed. The recent transgressions on AT shows these only too clearly.

    I am also happy that Diana advocates caution in “counter-diagnosing” the anthro-critic-critics. It is way too easy to join them in a rapidly deteriorating and degrading (and stupidly indirect) exchange.

    To get this somewhat in perspective, I think problems and misuses of the mainstream psychiatric diagnostic systems, is a MUCH more widespread danger to society than karma and temperaments in waldorf and AT ;-) The British “Mind Hacks” blog nicely covers the disputes around the US diagnostic manual, the mighty DSM-5. See “The war of the manual of mental illness” http://bit.ly/h0BcDf and “The manual that must not be named” http://bit.ly/xTkrLm The latter post features the respectable American Psychiatric Association in a role which somehow reminds me of Sune ;-)

  33. Very interesting, thanks Ulf. Yeah, the wars over the DSM can make the “war” between anthroposophy and its critics look like small potatoes.

  34. Thank you everyone! There’s been some signs today that I migh suffer from some brain affliction, after all (perhaps even dementia): I missed the same bus twice due to absentmindedness and then discovered I had washed paper in the washing machine once again (that’s presumably due to a pervasive inability to learn from experience).

    Anyway. I have no big problem with people being a bit bonkers. Be it Steiner, Sune or myself. That’s fine. Lots of admirable people were a bit bonkers too.

    Diana — don’t feel you have to knock if off because of what I’ve written here. It’s not your doing that they (or Ted) have discovered that I exist… he was on the critics list before, although I don’t remember how much we said to each other. I can see why you do what you do — Dog knows it’s not been beyond me to engage in… neurotic interactions with jerks.

    As for the sleeping stuff and the medicines — exactly. Lots of people take all kinds of things for all kinds of problems. One can debate if that’s always such a good thing, but that’s the way things are. I sleep well (for the first time in my life, really) and the delusion of happiness has become a much more frequent occurrance in later years, so… what can I say!

    I agree with what you say about Sune. Pete is right, of course, about the consequences of what Sune does (and, yes, the threat against MN was certainly real, even though I doubt he planned to follow through; while what he said to you [edit: meaning Pete] was something quite silly in affectation). But that is not to say he’s without a conscience and feels no moral conflicts — or whatever — about it. Or that it doesn’t affect him when people react badly to stuff he’s done.

    Ulf — ‘Most anthroposophist I’ve met in RL are quite nice people, not at all like some of those posting at Anthroposophy Tomorrow.’

    I suppose most of them are, and it seems slightly tragic that anthroposophy, to such a high degree, is represented by the not-so-nice online. But perhaps Sune is nice — he’s just not so good at showing it! ;-) (What do you say about that, Sune?)

    Re the fear of murderous hordes of waldorf teachers — that’s so very typical…

    As Cathy pointed out — they’re just avoiding discussion. Moreover, invented claims such as that one does serve to make a joke of actual, and often justified, fears people might have (for example, families still living in anthro dominated places may not feel so comfortable after having to remove their children from a waldorf school).

    (Ok, must now quit, in order to eat. Thanks again, everyone!)

  35. Re the DSM stuff, which I’ve read now — dear Dog.

    Still looking for a DSM that takes proper account of karma & reincarnation though! I’m sure it would be very useful.

  36. Here is a new syndrome I guess would be endorsed in both anthroposophical and canineosophical circles, NDD – Nature Deficit Disorder. See the schocking reports at BBC: http://bbc.in/H1420E

  37. Yes!! Mr Dog claims to be suffering from it right now. Severe case! He has not seen a tree, or peed on one, for several hours!

    Oh Dog, are waldorf people going to love NDD? Will they pretend to be the only ones offering a cure?? They’re probably busy already…

    (Actually, I often feel as though I suffer from NDD. Or rather, lack of ‘real’ nature and real forests.)

  38. Surprise! Not.

    Anyway, I shouldn’t have said I sleep well, as saying such things always has a cost. The Dogs who disrupt sleep apparently heard me. /sleepless, 4 am ;-)

  39. I’m quite sure most anthroposophists are unaware of the true cause of sleeplessness: supersensible barking coming down to us from the higher worlds! Howling, yapping, growling — too. All supersensible. Except to our higher I:s who flee back to the physical. Your cat may contribute to sleep issues in your case, Diana! At least so mr Dog says. Upsetting the Dogs usually leads to some kind of punishment!

  40. >Your cat may contribute to sleep issues in your case,

    Definitely, they walk all over us in bed, and the big one yowls for food at 5 a.m., seven days a week.

  41. That’s bad enough, but we also need to remember the sinister occult forces at work.

  42. Roger has found another school (Edinburgh Steiner school) that embraces the NDD diagnosis. He reminds them that anthroposophical nature is more than bunnies and trees, to which mr Dog adds there are supersensible bunnies (apparently, I say to him, that’s not what Rudi talked about). https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/news-2

  43. Pathologizing someone is indeed a quite popular way anthroposophists deal with dissent. Your case reminds me of most of the written and spoken responses by anthroposophists to Endstation Dornach…

  44. Oh yes, I remember reading some of them… Quite bizarre.

  45. [...] the topic of nature deficit disorder, here’s an article in Wales Online. It’s about another waldorf school ready to [...]

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