About the allegation that Steiner has used the Theosophical Society as a springboard for his spiritual science

Among the various charges that have been directed against me in reference to my work in the Theosophical Society – even from the side of the Society itself – this also has been raised: that to a certain extent I used this Society, which already had a standing in the world, as a spring-board in order to render easier the way for my own spiritual knowledge.

There is not the slightest ground for such a statement. When I accepted the invitation into the Society, this was the sole institution worthy of serious consideration in which there was present a real spiritual life. Had the mood, bearing, and work of the Society remained as they then were, the withdrawal of my friends and myself need never have occurred. The Anthroposophical Society might only have been formed officially within the Theosophical Society as a special section.

But even as early as 1906 things were already beginning to be manifest and effective in the Theosophical Society which indicated in a terrible measure its deterioration. If earlier still, in the time of H. P. Blavatsky, such incidents were asserted by the outer world to have occurred, yet at the beginning of the century it was clearly true that the earnestness of spiritual work on the part of the Society constituted a compensation for whatever wrong thing had taken place. Moreover, the occurrences had been left behind.

But after 1906 there began in the Society, upon whose general direction I had not the least influence, practices reminiscent of the growth of spiritualism, which made it necessary for me to warn members again and again that the part of the Society which was under my direction should have absolutely nothing to do with these things. The climax in these practices was reached when it was asserted of a Hindu boy that he was the person in whom Christ would appear in a new earthly life. For the propagation of this absurdity there was formed in the Theosophical Society a special society, that of “The Star of the East.” It was utterly impossible for my friends and me to include the membership of this “Star of the East” as a branch of the German section, as they desired and as Annie Besant, president of the Theosophical Society, especially intended. We were forced to found the Anthroposophical Society independently.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter XXXI

Previously posted on June 8, 2014