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The Karma of Untruthfulness Volume 1 - Rudolf Steiner

The Karma of Untruthfulness
Volume 1

Secret Societies, the Media, and
Preparations for the Great War

13 lectures by Rudolf Steiner

The Karma of Untruthfulness - Volume 1 and 2 lectures were given by Rudolf Steiner in December 1916 in the throes of the political, social and military chaos of the First World War, when nationalistic passions were at their peak and few were willing to listen to the viewpoints of other nations.  Steiner took on the very sensitive task of trying to reveal to the anthroposophical community the real reasons behind all of the developments which lead to the outbreak of war and the various political machinations which were bent on keeping it going. He emphasized repeatedly throughout the lectures, that his descriptions of events were not the result of any nationalistic tendencies of his own but were objective descriptions of what actually occurred behind the scenes.

He shows that what was (and still is) the common perception of the causes of the war - and of who was responsible – was completely manufactured by individuals who were members of secret societies and who had powerful influence over key political figures and over the media of the day.  These same societies, largely in England and in Russia (those he cites) had been working steadily over decades to bring about the critical nationalistic tensions and precipitated the events which finally burst into the general mindless battle royal that history records as the “Great War”.  Certain key figures in governments and monarchies came easily under their sway and became unwitting agents for their purposes, each believing that they were defending their country’s interests against the rising militarism of the “enemy”.

Steiner gives lengthy quotes from many important figures to illustrate the cunning and deceit that was used to pour the blood of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen onto the battlefields of Europe in order to achieve what these “grey” brotherhoods regarded as the rightful goal of European culture.

The political subject matter is a departure from Steiner’s usual addresses, but he declared it as a necessity, considering the brutal cruelty and suffering of the moment. But as the lectures were given in the weeks leading up to Christmas, he also brought in a Christmas theme, and described the cultural and spiritual source of our celebration of the baby Jesus and the mid-winter birth, pointing back to an esoteric cultural practice of the 3rd millennium B.C., originating in the mystery centres of the Jutland region of what is now Denmark.

Additional illumination is given on the Chinese opium habit and the British-Chinese Opium Wars of the 19th Century, including the effect these had on incarnating souls in both the Chinese and European cultures of the 19th century.

This is a volume which warrants reading and re-reading alongside orthodox historical accounts of these matters.

Rudolf Steiner Press
Trans. J. Collis
13 lectures, Dornach  4 – 31 December 1916, Basel 21 December 1916, GA173
305pp; paperback
ISBN: 1 85584 186 X

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See also: The Karma of Untruthfulness - Volume Two



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The Karma of Untruthfulness - Vol. 1 - Rudolf Steiner - GA 173