I’m writing this just because they should not be given the opportunity to say they weren’t aware. They should not be able to forget exactly who they hired. They should not be permitted to delude themselves that they did nothing wrong. (They did everything wrong. They chose to pay him.) He’s busy hounding Cathy. Cathy was a waldorf/steiner school mother. Sune Nordwall thinks it’s fair game to hound her for voicing criticism. He thinks it’s all right to speculate about who she is and where she lives (with her family and young children), despite our explaining, over and over again, why this is very harmful and also entirely unnecessary (he has nothing to gain from it — except the pleasure of intimidation). He has created websites about her, and is writing all sorts of nasty stuff about her. I cannot say if it is really so, but it seems to me he may be using — or I should say abusing — Cathy as a means to dissuade others from speaking their minds, it’s a warning: look at the intimidation that follows if you don’t keep your views to yourself.
Though it is quite difficult to believe for anyone who’s read their respective writing, he deludely thinks that Cathy and Thetis are the same person. They are most definitely not. I know this. You may choose to believe Sune Nordwall of course, if you’re inclined to believe the mad and the fanatic, but I think you ought to believe me. I know Cathy, Thetis and Lovelyhorse. They really are three different people. Three different mothers who, for different but very good reasons, weren’t satisfied with waldorf/steiner education. None of their arguments have anything to do with their identities, however.
There’s no good reason for an elderly man, an employee of the Swedish Waldorf School Federation, to hound anyone of them personally, to go after anyone of them as persons, the way he does with Cathy, instead of engaging with their arguments and opinions. And there’s no reason in the world for him to go after Cathy when the person he wants to target — but can’t because she’s more anonymous than Cathy — is Thetis. In a way, he does manage to target Thetis in this roundabout way — she now knows that when she writes something, like the posts at DC’s blog, he’ll go after Cathy for it. Thetis, naturally, doesn’t wish a friend to be subjected to Sune’s harassment because of something she’s written. It is unfair — to both of them. He’s eager to take advantage, of course; he’s always been, it seems.
He has published a couple of new webpages about me lately too. At this time, I think they’re better ignored. But the concerns, and the questions I have, apply to these pages as well. He has speculated about me, too, and been laughably wrong.
It’s also worth noting what’s mentioned below about the banned discussions, forum members and the deleted forum posts (and entire threads) doesn’t pertain only to Mumsnet. There were other discussion in other places, among them the Green Parent forum, on which Nordwall managed to have people banned and posts deleted. Somewhere, around this time, he also threatened Times Educational Supplement over a discussion on their forum, and he threatened me that he’d sue me if I disobeyed him, which I’ve done repeatedly since — with no consequences whatsoever. (You can find the quotes in this post in Swedish — the quotes are in English.) The thread was then closed, possibly even deleted. These are only a few examples of many; it is his habit to report and get deleted practically everything he doesn’t like. Trying to bluff people about the legal implications of what they write or allow to be published is one of his other really bad habits. It’s impossible to say how successful he really is. What is possible to say, however, is that it is a major disgrace for an educational movement to avoid rejecting this behaviour of his outright.
Why would a national waldorf school organization choose to support this person — why would they choose to support his methods? Beats me. I have no answer. It’s really beyond any reasonable person’s comprehension. He’s been doing this for years — they should have known (and I’m inclined to think they did), they should have reacted, they should have explained that they take exception to his methods (unless, of course, and this is the inevitable conclusion: they support them). Most importantly, they should never have hired him. And now that they have, they should post an open statement about this on their website. People have a right to know who they’re dealing with and all the names and aliases he’s operating under.
Why would they support a man who’s made it his life’s purpose to hunt down and intimidate former waldorf parents? Do they think this makes them look like less of a cult? (I can assure them that the opposite is true.)
If this was only about Sune Nordwall himself, we might very well conclude he’s your average fanatic, no longer thinking properly or independently, stuck as he is in his madly looping brain. But they hired him. He’s now their problem, the phenomenon Sune Nordwall, in all his madness, is now theirs to explain. Why did they think he’s doing such a great job it’s worth paying for? Why are the waldorf schools and kindergartens happy with how their organization acts?
I’ll address you directly: why are you paying Sune Nordwall? Why are you paying for what he’s doing — rather than explicitly and unambiguously rejecting it? I will never begin to understand this, unless, at least, you offer an explanation. What is your excuse?
In order to make it easier for the Waldorf Federation to follow the debate they hired Sune Nordwall to monitor, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few comments and quotes from a recent blog discussion, in which Sune Nordwall made a rather pathetic appearance, first trying to smear others and, when it didn’t work as he hoped, reverting to post about celebrities who like waldorf, before disappearing (another old habit of his).
Me: Sune Nordwall (The Bee, et c) is an employee of the Swedish Waldorf School Federation, the equivalent of the British organization SWSF. His main task is, according to a document I found, to monitor the debate. In reality, what Nordwall is doing is keeping busy trying to shut discussion down and have critical viewpoints erased from the internet. It’s true though that he’s been doing the same thing for years, long before they started to pay him for it. To hound critics — former parents and students, not to speak about certain academics — has been his life’s purpose, it seems, for years, even decades. I urge everybody to take his websites with a large grain of salt.
Cathy: … Sune Nordwall is paid to monitor discussion. To date, he has used about ten or more pseudonyms, often women’s. He also goes after mothers. He is, at the moment, circulating pieces on the internet with inaccurate and denigrating statements about people who dare to write what is inadmissible material about Steiner … . He apparently thinks several people are one…. … He’s not the only anthroposophist to use this intimidating tactic (I and others have had some scary emails from other people). One mother who had spoken publicly about their experiences told me someone had made death threats and she had received hate mail.
[Sune replied, mistakenly believing Cathy was referring to Deby Snell.]
Sam: Sune, you and your movements behaviour is absolutely appalling. Why do you and your movement write files on parents who have spoken out about the schools? Don’t you think they have gone through enough distress already.
Cathy: No, it wasn’t Deborah Snell I was talking about who had death threats, it was someone around this time last year who you haven’t been able to get at. A friend told me she had contact with someone else who had had death threats too.
The Waldorf Survivors group has had nearly 5000 enquiries, people who may want support after having disturbing experiences at Steiner waldorf institutions. People too afraid to go public many of them. Luckily you can’t get to all of them.
You have been stalking me around the net for a long time. That is the only way you could possibly have found and published what you thought was my address. You have written things about me which are supposition, mixed me up with different people, made taunting remarks, published where I live when I have begged you to stop. I find your behavior is obsessive and intimidating.
I have children who have a life, as I do. Leave it alone and address the very real problems your precious movement is facing. What you have written about Dr Peter Staudenmaier is a scandalous disgrace, I can’t see how you dare.
Stop the personal attacks and answer the questions parents are asking.
[...]The reason comments were deleted were most likely because you threatened them with action as you apparently did at mumsnet, where Justine wrote this
” We still find our inbox filled with reported posts and have received a fair few threats of legal action too. Here’s the sort of mail we are getting:
“If I see her posting promotion of libel at Mumsnet once more, I won’t tell you about it, but ask Percy Bratt of Bratt and Feinsilber in Sweden to contact you in cooperation with the legal representatives of The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK and Ireland (
), about your negligent way of allowing libel to be published at Mumsnet and the one who is the most fervent publisher of it to continue to publish at Mumsnet.” …
Sam: … The fact that Sune Nordwall is paid by the Steiner Waldorf movement to write files and slanderous nonsense about parents and Dr Peter Staudenmaier is indeed a scandal.
Sune, I presume you are specifically targeting the UK forums because of the possibility of Steiner schools obtaining Free School funding? …
Also to Sune, as a representative of the Steiner Waldorf movement, why did you pose as a mother on Mumsnet? …
[I wasn't sure if I should even quote Sune. It seems somehow immoral to perpetuate his lies. But I do it for context, and his post is quite telling.]
Sune Nordwall: Cathy’s anti-Steiner crusade at Mumsnet however was so overwhelming and obsessive in so many forums, a number of which she invited other discussants at Mumsnet to follow her to to support her crusade (of which forums some on their own initiative decided to ban her for her intense trolling), that I felt I needed to describe and address it.
I did it as a private person, only representing myself and noone else, as always when I participate in discussions or write on the net.
My work as part time media reporter after the Mumsnet discussions in 2008 on what is published in general in different media to the Swedish Association of Waldorf schools, mainly in Sweden, regarding or related to Steiner Waldorf education, only includes pure media reports, expressly not to in any way represent them.
Sam: Sune, from my experience mothers had no other choice but to go onto other forums because you forced them to do so. I have watched you bully and harass parents seeking support on parenting forums, you also report posts threatening legal action unless they are deleted.
You also state ‘I did it as a private person, only representing myself and noone else, as always when I participate in discussions or write on the net’.
You are not being honest, here is the original document in Swedish, now archived as it was quickly pulled stating you are employed by the Steiner Waldorf movement to ‘monitor’ the net:
(p.9) and translation:
‘The blog debate
In England, the attacks on [waldorf] pedagogy have led to parents withdrawing their children from the waldorf schools. The [Swedish Waldorf School] Federation has employed Sune on a part-time basis to monitor the debate’.
Your failure to admit any responsibility for your actions and behaviour is sadly mine and many others experience of your movement as a whole.
Pete Karaiskos: Sune, you are never honest, and I’m pretty sure I’ve even caught you lying right here. [. . .]
You said about shutting down criticism at Mumsnet.com “I did it as a private person, only representing myself and noone else, as always when I participate in discussions or write on the net.”
Now, we also have a letter from Mumsnet that you wrote. [. . .]
Now, Sune, you specifically say your legal representation (P. Bratt) represents or works in cooperation with The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship in the UK and Ireland. That is NOT the work of an individual… sorry.
So… it’s one or the other… Were you lying when you said your attorney represents the Waldorf Fellowship in the UK, or were you lying when you said you work as an individual when you threaten posters? Did you lie about not representing Waldorf then, or are you lying about having posted as an individual now?
Older posts about Nordwall and the Waldorf Federation. This is Percy Bratt’s law firm. Percy Bratt’s wife happens to work in waldorf teacher training and is a friend of Sune’s, which may be the reason why Percy Bratt got involved in this in the first place. Sune Nordwall recently posted comments on this article too.