Peter Deunov

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Preach to the choir
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Crux of the matter
Speak of the devil
An act of faith

Peter Deunov (Bulgarian: Петър Дънов) (1864–1944) was a Bulgarian mystic who started a new religious movement (a form of "esoteric Christianity") in the first half of the 20th century, ripping off Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy. Despite claims to the opposite, his influence is mostly limited to Bulgaria. Together with Vanga, he's one of the thorns in the butt of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The name(s)[edit]

There's no single "correct" way to Romanize Bulgarian. "Peter Deunov" is the spelling preferred by his followers. His names have been also spelled as Petar or Petur and Dunov or Danov. According to the 2006 official Bulgarian rules for transliteration, it should be Petar Danov. He is also called with his "spiritual name" — Beinsa Douno or Beinsá Dunó (Bulgarian: Беинса Дуно) and his followers insist on styling him "Учителя" — "The Teacher", though the preferred English form seems to be "The Master". Which is not creepily ambiguous at all.


Paneurhythmy dancers (the white circle) next to the Kidney lake in the Rila mountains.

Paneurhythmy is a dance/exercise/something allegedly invented by Deunov and in no way related to Rudolf Steiner's eurhythmy. See, even the name is completely different…

Universal White Brotherhood[edit]

In Bulgaria, his followers are often called "deunovists" ("danovists/dunovists", Bulgarian: "дъновисти"), though they object to the label. The movement calls itself the "(Universal) White Brotherhood" (Bulgarian: (Всемирно) бяло братство).

The French branch of the movement has been listed as a cult by parliamentary commissions in France in the 1990s.[1][2]

They claim that being a member does not replace one's "original" religion, be it Christian or something else, but it seems that no-one else buys this. To put it mildly, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church doesn't like them at all.

Ballot stuffing?[edit]

In 2006/2007, the BNT (Bulgarian National Television) ran a poll show called The Great Bulgarians (Bulgarian: Великите българи, Velikite Balgari), patterned after the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons. The public were asked to pick the 100 most important Bulgarian historical figures, and then to rank them to produce the top 10. Deunov finished in second place,[3] leading to speculation that his followers had "Pharyngulated" the polls.

External links[edit]