Enchantment by experts?

I hesitate to preface a post with a trigger warning but will say that the essay linked below is very dark and disturbing.

Until a few years ago my only knowledge of Bruno Bettelheim was his book The Uses Of Enchantment. I still think it’s a marvellous study, exploring how fairy tales tell deeper truths about life. I read it mainly because I’d enjoyed the Neil Jordan film, The Company Of Wolves, which was partly inspired by the book.

It’s a kind of case study of Bettelheim, and a very much more personal story, and how these mesh with and are shaped by the times we live in.

…he required the unquestioning, devout allegiance of his team to constantly remake reality so that it conformed to his recommendations.


Very moving. These two quotes sum it up for me and illustrate where we are now;

"…the courtyard where in Bettelheim’s era there had been a statue in the shape of a mother that he’d encouraged his young male students to urinate on."


"And for all those years, staff watched and participated without a single one of them speaking out."

I’m sure you know of another Bettelheim, William Sargant.