the grandt brothers

Ramon Brüll writes about the supposed effects of the Grandt brothers’ activities:

Und doch ist etwas hängengeblieben. Michael und dessen Zwillingsbruder Guido Grandt, mit dem zusammen er das Schwarzbuch Anthroposophie verfasst hat, haben manche Anthroposophenkreise in Angst und Schrecken versetzt. Bis heute kann man die reflexartige Reaktion beobachten, die bei jeder, auch wohlwollenden, Kritik oder gar Nachfrage sofort eine Gegnerschaft wittert. Das führt wiederum zu einer Abkapselung. Der notwendige Dialog, der Austausch mit anderen wird vermieden. Dieser Teil der Anthroposophenschaft zieht sich aus dem öffentlichen Leben zurück. Das ist die eigentliche Katastrophe.

The brothers wrote a couple of books about anthroposophy and waldorf education. I’ve read parts of one book — not the one mentioned — and it wasn’t exactly impressive. (Not that they’re wrong about all the basic stuff — they aren’t — but they’re quite sensationalist and add a fair amount of rather dubious speculations. This is as far as I can remember. It wasn’t highly memorable.) On the other hand, anthroposophists’ attempt to stop one of the books wasn’t impressive either. Anyway, I find it hard to believe that the Grandt brothers’ alone are responsible for the attitude of anthroposophists or for anthroposophists shying away from public life. Because you’d see the same tendency towards isolation even where the infamous brothers have had no impact at all due to, well, the obvious: they’re basically unknown outside Germany. Isn’t this tendency something that goes back to Steiner’s own times? And isn’t it a tendency inherent in many spiritual movements themselves? That is, that there’s an appeal to being misunderstood, even despised and painted as dangerous, because it reinforces a satisfying feeling of spiritual distinction; people aren’t supposed to understand, because, to put it plainly, that would be boring. In other words, in essence it really is something independent of the dubious efforts of the brothers Grandt, even though they certainly ‘helped’. With this, I’m not trying to suggest that anthroposophists enjoy being ridiculed or despised or the subject of warnings. I’m saying that this, even if it seems paradoxical (I’m not sure it is), satisfies something regarding the validity of the worldview and its importance. And perhaps that it is possible that to want to be understood and accepted on one level doesn’t exclude, on another level, a certain kind satisfaction from being misunderstood.

(Here’s a link to an article about the Schwarzbuch Waldorf. And another. Spiegel once wrote about the earlier book, Schwarzbuch Anthroposophie.)

2 thoughts on “the grandt brothers

  1. “[…] there’s an appeal to being misunderstood, even despised and painted as dangerous, because it reinforces a satisfying feeling of spiritual distinction; people aren’t supposed to understand, because, to put it plainly, that would be boring. […] it is possible that to want to be understood and accepted on one level doesn’t exclude, on another level, a certain kind satisfaction from being misunderstood.”

    Spot on. Thanks for another insightful post.

Comments are closed.