In the November 7 New York Times was the obituary of Geoffrey Crawley, the Englishman who proved the Cottingley Fairies were a hoax. The Cottingley Fairies have a great deal in common with Biodynamics.
In the summer of 1917, two young girls in England, cousins Frances age 10, and Elsie age 16, liked playing by a stream near their home which annoyed Elsie’s mother because they came home dirty. The girls said they played by the stream because of fairies, and to prove it, they borrowed a camera and made five photographs of cardboard cutouts of fairies. While Elsie’s father thought the photos were fakes, the mother did not, and in 1919 the mother went to a Theosophical society meeting on “Fairy life” and showed the photos. Edward Gardner, a prominent member of the Theosophical Society, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (yes, the creator of Sherlock Holmes) became convinced that the photos were real. The controversy continued into the 1970s until Geoffrey Crawley both proved that the photos were fakes and got the cousins to admit it was all a lark that got out of control.
Here’s the connection and the parallels with Biodynamics. Rudolf Steiner was the leader of The Theosophical Society from 1902 until 1912. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the rock star of his era for his creation of the Sherlock Homes stories; he wrote an article defending the fairies as real. On one of his many visits with the girls Edward Gardner brought Geoffrey Hodson, a clairvoyant who saw many, many fairies. Both Gardner and Conan Doyle went on to write books supporting their belief in the Cottingley fairies and two Hollywood movies were made about them.
So there is the parallel to Biodynamics: Rudolf Steiner and Theosophy, the support by world famous people, field confirmations by eye witnesses and the “scientific proof” of the photographs, what more could you want?
Yet it was all a hoax, just like biodynamic farming is a hoax. Unfortunately, Rudolf Steiner didn’t fess up before he died.