Uriel Chief Indian Mark McKibben was turned on to science in the 1970's at Highland Hall Waldorf School in Los Angeles by 11th grade chemistry teacher William Noah. Noah was a reformed hippie who manufactured nitroglycerin in the classroom as a demonstration, and his safety rule was to make the first row move back a bit. During a lecture about the future direction of science, he brought up Genetic Engineering as the next big movement. Determined to do something, Mark's die was cast by righteous indignation that day.
Throughout university attendance at UCLA and Cal State Northridge, Mark lived at the Rudolf Steiner Library Collective, a ferment of Bohemian anthroposophy frequented by illustrious characters. During this time Dr. Henry Williams, a prominent anthroposophic doctor, was conducting a series of evening lectures in L.A. whilst rooming at the collective with the students. During a number of talks with the good doctor, Mark was advised to become an anthroposophic pharmacist. A seed was planted. The east coast called
Mark moved to Boston in the late '70s and attended Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Among other things, he learned that to focus too much or too long on one thing in medicine can be short sighted. A whole body approach made more sense. In doing the former, medical science has removed itself from nature, to its detriment. Two incidents of this time cemented Mark's outlook on allopathic learning. During a stultifying lecture about pharmaceutical chemistry, the first snow of the season commenced. As the fat flakes swirled down in broad, slow vortex movements in front of the long lecture hall windows, the attention of the entire audience swayed " ignoring the lecture and enraptured by the natural world. Later, Mark encountered the same lecturer dragging a frightened, struggling beagle up to the research lab. These two incidents colored an already distinct portrait of modern medicine.
After the epiphany in Boston, Mark moved to New York to attend Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. While there, he also lived and worked at the Fellowship Community in Spring Valley, NY, an anthroposophic community centered around care of the elderly, and worked for Weleda Pharmacy making anthroposophic medicines.
After a number of years, he went to Germany to work with the WALA anthroposophic pharmaceutical company, which had been his goal since finding WALA's wild fruit syrups back at the Steiner Collective in Los Angeles. The boxes intriguingly described how they were made by exposing the syrups to the light of the rising and setting sun, impregnating them with a creative dynamic.
At the conclusion of a two-year apprenticeship making WALA medicines, Mark went to the Ita Wegman Klinik in Switzerland, the birthplace of anthroposophic medicine in the 1920's. For three months he worked with Janet Barker collecting plants from the countryside and making rhythmical extracts using morning and evening forces.
In the late 80's, he returned to the states to open Raphael Pharmacy in Fair Oaks, California, making WALA remedies available in the USA. After nine years growing a successful anthroposophic business in California, Mark moved to rural East Troy, Wisconsin and started Uriel to meet the needs of doctors with new ideas for anthroposophical remedies. East Troy seemed like the perfect place, with several Biodynamic farms and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.