why would the swedish waldorf school federation want to support this?

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 (http://www.steinerwaldorf.org/index.html), 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: http://www.webcitation.org/5q7GTGVTz (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’. http://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/supervising-the-attacks/
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.

About these ads

88 comments

  1. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Yes, Sune, I am not Cathy, nor did Cathy incite me or anyone else to write about this subject. She is an extremely bright and likeable person, someone with a great deal of compassion. She didn’t deserve her Steiner experience and she doesn’t deserve your continued attention. She has moved on. You are no better than a stalker.

    I haven’t written about Steiner Waldorf ed because I’m upset about my own children’s education in a Steiner school. It was a while ago and the children concerned are doing very well, fortunately for us the experience was not malign, although academically poor. I’ve written, with Lovelyhorse, as skeptical bloggers on a pro-science site. This has always been the point for me, apart from the humour here at Alicia’s. I don’t use my own name because I am not the story. It would be entirely uninteresting to know who I am.

    If you want our motive, this is a good one, as Hitchens writes: ‘the defence of reason and science is the great imperative of our time.’ If Lovelyhorse and I are on a crusade we’re part of a significant battalion – it’s just that we understand what is for most people an obscure area of pseudo-science and with 20+ potential Steiner Free Schools in our own country it’s our task to tell what we know. Same with Unity and now David Colquhoun. Why don’t you write pages about them? David wonders why you don’t add him to your list, in fact he’s insulted. So take Cathy off and add Prof Colquhoun instead.

  2. ThetisMercurio · ·

    point is, how many of these English Free School hopefuls link to Sune’s sites – oblivious of the consequences. And refer to Wikipedia (what will they do when he retires? Are they considering cryogenics?)

  3. ‘Yes, Sune, I am not Cathy, nor did Cathy incite me or anyone else to write about this subject. She is an extremely bright and likeable person, someone with a great deal of compassion. She didn’t deserve her Steiner experience and she doesn’t deserve your continued attention. She has moved on. You are no better than a stalker. ‘

    Very well put. Sune may find comfort in finding (imagining) scape-goats, but it isn’t fair. It may be ok in his movement, but in the rest of the world, it isn’t. They like to blame everything on PLANS and Dan D. (If you trace Sune’s perceived patterns-of-guilt you’ll end up there.) But there was criticism a lot earlier, and people can find it, even though the movement has been quite eager to try erase it from the surface of the earth. (One Swedish tv-film — many decades old — comes to my mind. The movement still won’t allow it to be aired. And that’s just Sweden. Though long before Dan D, much less Cathy, had any influence on this topic. There wasn’t even the internet.)

    ‘Same with Unity and now David Colquhoun. Why don’t you write pages about them?’

    Good question. Not that I think he should. I think he should stop writing nasty webpages about people. Still, the question is good. I don’t think he’s gone after any male critic of anthroposophy in the way he’s gone after Cathy. He’s after Peter and Dan and some others of course but not in the same way.

  4. ‘point is, how many of these English Free School hopefuls link to Sune’s sites – oblivious of the consequences.’

    I suspect many, though I haven’t checked.

    ‘And refer to Wikipedia (what will they do when he retires? Are they considering cryogenics?)’

    No, they’re considering reincarnation! (But it will have to be quick.)
    I don’t think he will retire until he decarnates. Then he’ll take a short between-lives vacation and return. Perhaps as a wasp. Can’t be a bee twice.

  5. I think that many Steiner parents and teachers are at least vaguely aware of the online criticism of the Steiner movement. It’s perceived as some kind of unjustified, irrational hate campaign. As such, they might see nothing wrong with the likes of Sune’s dirty tactics in return. Or at least turn a blind eye to them.

    In the UK, libel is a civil offense while cyberstalking & online intimidation is a criminal offense with correspondingly higher penalties. I’m guessing there is a similar distinction in Sweden. I merely note this as a fact, not to make any other implications.

    The recent success of Simon Singh in his libel dispute with the British Chiropractic Association sets an important precedent. The upcoming review of the libel laws in the UK will hopefully make this a less attractive avenue for intimidation and censorship.

  6. Hopefully, yes.

    ‘In the UK, libel is a civil offense while cyberstalking & online intimidation is a criminal offense with correspondingly higher penalties. I’m guessing there is a similar distinction in Sweden.’

    No, not really. Libel is criminal offence. And, as far as I can see, his cyberstalking and online intimidation don’t constitute crimes according to Swedish law; this, of course, does not in any way justify the behaviour. Not all immoral behaviours are crimines (thank dog, actually). What he’s done towards Peter S, for example, could possibly be an issue of libel, though.

    ‘It’s perceived as some kind of unjustified, irrational hate campaign. As such, they might see nothing wrong with the likes of Sune’s dirty tactics in return. Or at least turn a blind eye to them.’

    I think you’re very right about this. This is another reason why it’s important to continue to bring attention to the problem. There’s not much else one can do, honestly. Another aspect is that it’s awfully difficult to understand and follow what Nordwall does and has done over the years — it’s almost impossible for the average waldorf parent who’d rather not know about it all anyway.

  7. Sometimes you have these really bizarre dreams where reality is upside down and everything is absurd. I had this completely implausible, weird dream this morning. I dream that Sune was a reasonable and nice person with whom you could have a decent conversation about something trivial. (Don’t tell me this is so, Sune!)

    I woke up saying, ‘WTF!’ to myself and mr Dog. ‘Weird’, said mr Dog when I’d told him about it. ‘It’d be like dreaming cats know about reason and truth!’ he added.

    (Yes, this is indeed a true story. I may need to enter psychoanalytic treatment or something.)

  8. ThetisMercurio · ·

    MarkH – very good point re Simon Singh.

    You could compare it to the analysis (and demolition) of homeopathy – an ‘unjustified, irrational hate campaign.’ Presumably John Sweeney too was pursuing an irrational hate campaign against Scientology. And Richard Dawkins has an unjustified hatred of creationists. I suspect it’s true that some Steiner supporters are happy to have Sune do their dirty work for them – and to tell journalists that this is just a few disgruntled ex-parents with an axe to grind. Joined by learning communities who are also very concerned. And also scientists. And skeptical and political bloggers. And academics. And so on. Just a few, well, actually quite a lot of people. All over the world.

    Alicia found that formidable blogger PZ Myers has now written about anthroposophy:

    “The University of Michigan Health System is also propping up an Integrative Medicine department. Their big obsession is Anthroposophy, one of the bastard mystic cults spawned in the early years of the 20th century, and yes, it is total loony wackitude. We actually have institutions of higher learning promoting Rudolf Steiner? Madness.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/its_an_epidemic_1.php

    Yep, it’s an epidemic.

  9. Another thing I thought of this morning is that although there are some things in the article (http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/01/should-the-state-be-funding-schools-which-were-founded-by-a-racist-mystic/) one could discuss and even question — Nordwall doesn’t. (E g, was ‘Jesus Christ at the top of the Steiner evolutionary tree’? — and that’s not all. And the article is intentionally provocative, for good reason, but still.)

    But he doesn’t call the arguments of the article into question — he launches another ‘attack’ (to use his own words) against Peter S. It’s just bound to make him (Nordwall) look utterly silly again. He apparently has nothing more substantial to add. And he has no arguments to offer as refutation of the article, only attacks on individuals like Cathy.

  10. Thetis — ‘I suspect it’s true that some Steiner supporters are happy to have Sune do their dirty work for them – and to tell journalists that this is just a few disgruntled ex-parents with an axe to grind.’

    I suspect so too. Or they wouldn’t have hired him. I mean, they must have the silent support of quite a few people. They couldn’t have done it, and couldn’t continue to do it, if their own supporters and members (of organizations like the waldorf federation) were to protest it. But I also think there are those who may not feel it’s such a good idea to behave this way towards critics and former parents/students. It’s a pity they don’t speak up or speak loudly enough. I’d like to urge them to do it.

  11. Another thing I should have said but didn’t, or I didn’t say it explicitly, is that (obviously) I’m not only referring in my post to Nordwall’s comments on the LSN-blog, I’m referring to his own webpages (of which there are new ones) in addition to comments on blogs and, not to forget, his twitterfeeds. I didn’t actually link to his webpages about Cathy (or me, or anyone else) or to his tweets (though I have done it earlier), because in this particular post, it felt very wrong to promote these websites, comments or twitter accounts at all.

  12. Sune Nordwall is obviously sincere in his passion for anthroposophy and his desire to defend anthroposophy against people he sees as attacking it.

    I think it’s equally plain, however, that there are other motives for following younger women in particular around the Net, spending hours hanging on every word they say on twitter etc. , building web sites devoted to them personally etc.

  13. ‘Sune Nordwall is obviously sincere in his passion for anthroposophy’

    indubitably. There are, however (and this is some advice for you Sune!), other ways to express this passion — ways which may actually make anthroposophy seem more appealing rather than less. The latter is an unfortunate side-effect of his current behaviour. I mean, I know some anthroposophists would object that if anthroposophy turns into dogmatism, then something is wrong because it shouldn’t. It makes you wonder why it happens all the time anyway, though. Perhaps because anthroposophy really doesn’t offer much to compensate for human nature and human frailties.

  14. Points well taken.

    ‘There are, however (and this is some advice for you Sune!), other ways to express this passion — ways which may actually make anthroposophy seem more appealing rather than less. ”

    Sune has a particular template or construct in his mind for understanding this situation. It’s a simple one, because fanatics need very simple explanations of reality, and it works well for him in that it gives him (in his view) unerring advice as to what actions or strategies to take.

    Regarding you, Cathy, et al., it’s this: you’re enemies. You aim to destroy anthroposophy. Logically therefore, when you give him “advice” it must be a trick. Paradoxically I think he probably does the opposite of what you advise him to do, believing he’s being set up. I’ve long been in this relation to Sune as well: over the years I’ve actually given him quite a few pieces of strategic advice, not to mention well intended, practical, and easy-to-follow tips for improving his writing, basic info on grammar and synax in English, but he ignores all of it, no matter that it is evident to reasonable people that it is reasonable advice.

    The more and better advice you give him, the less likely he is to follow it. If you point out to him that certain behavior makes anthroposophy look bad, I believe his immediate thought is, “Well I’d better do more of that, then, ‘cus Alicia is only telling me it makes anthroposophy look bad because Alicia is fiendishly clever and likes to lead me astray.”

    Of course, I could be saying all this to confuse him even further … I figure sometimes, the possibility of counter-plots and counter-counter plots and counter-counter-counter plots must keep him awake at night, trying to figure out if he’s been double or triple or quadruple-crossed, but there’s only so far I can go in contemplating what goes on in Sune’s mind :)

  15. Ah- thanks for writing this Zooey. I haven’t participated writing anything about Steiner education for quite some time I don’t think, save the odd comment here or there. While it’s flattering to be mistaken for the extremely fecund and witty ThetisMercurio, it’s important that the record is set straight. Sune Nordwall has published things which simply aren’t true, much of his proclamations are pure speculation anyway. It’s highly unfortunate on so many levels (for the Steiner Waldorf federations) that he and his anthroposophical warblings are beamed into any homes.
    It’s crucially important that the workings of Steiner schools are made public- what goes on and why in for instance, teacher training, “child study/observation’ etc etc, things which affect real children right now.

  16. (Crossed posts)

    I think Diana is spot on. Anyone who dares to criticise Steiner waldorf is the “enemy’, (they are nonplussed when we point out aspects of it we find attractive). This profound introspection fused with fixations and fanaticism is concerning.

    Diana said
    “I think it’s equally plain, however, that there are other motives for following younger women in particular around the Net, spending hours hanging on every word they say on twitter etc. , building web sites devoted to them personally etc.”

    This truly chills me.

  17. Cathy — thanks for letting me write it. It’s not so fun for you being the centre of attention for Sune once again because he believes you’re Thetis.

    Diana — you’re probably right about that. And it’s true he thinks I’m both evil and clever (sly, perhaps), but as far as evil goes, I’m not half as evil as he thinks (haha!!!).

    I remember asking him years ago (also when he was posting all sorts of ridiculous things about how wrong everybody else is, liars, frauds, et c) what it is that draws him to anthroposophy, why he thinks it’s so important, why it means so much to him. He has never ever replied to such questions. Presumably he thinks they are part of the plot, of some nasty clever trick. They aren’t. I would be very interested to hear what he has to say. There must be — or perhaps not? — something more to Sune’s interest in anthroposophy than merely defending anthroposophy from all sorts of real and imagined attacks. But it’s impossible to discern anything such. The imagined crusades seem to block every other thought.

  18. Anonymous · ·

    Cathy: “Anyone who dares to criticise Steiner waldorf is the “enemy’, (they are nonplussed when we point out aspects of it we find attractive”

    Yes, being victims of cult-think they cannot make sense of this. It does not logically compute to them because it is a different way of thinking of the world than the cult mentality, where things are Good or Evil, and “Opposing Powers” are out to get them. Moreover these opposing forces are tricky and conniving. We’re not just bad and wrong and trying to give him a hard time – we’re plotting to confuse him, we’re devious and we say the opposite of what we mean, or say contradictory things *on purpose* to throw him off the trail.

  19. Anonymous is Diana … more trickery!!

  20. I just read a letter from Bellow to Barfield in which he tells Barfield one must be careful not to identify every detractor with the powers of darkness.

    Anyway, clearly you’re out to trick him Diana.

    ‘we’re plotting to confuse him’

    We obviously manage to do this without even trying!! It’s enough that we exist.

  21. “And, as far as I can see, his cyberstalking and online intimidation don’t constitute crimes according to Swedish law”

    For the record, it doesn’t sound to me from what you’ve written as though he’s crossed the line against UK law either.

    It just struck me that the seriousness of the “crimes” he’s accused others of and that which could be perceived as having been committed against the harassed (and not just by Sune), made for an interesting comparison.

  22. Oh, it is a very interesting comparison.

    And you say something interesting there — he is, and has, actually been accusing others of crimes, not just ‘crimes’, and it can, in fact, be a crime to describe others as people who have committed crimes, especially when they haven’t and there’s no justification for saying these things. This he has done several times to/about me. (And then, once, he also said that he didn’t mean crime in a legal sense or some other nonsense. It’s clear though from several of the incidents that he is talking about the legal sense. About which he’s confused, but that’s another matter.)

    He thinks we’re ‘libelling’ and ‘hating’ Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy. But that’s not even a crime. And compared to what he does to other people, it’s nothing.

  23. >he also said that he didn’t mean crime in a legal sense or some other nonsense

    LOL. When he finally figured out that Peter Staudenmaier didn’t “forge” any documents, he started to say that he only meant “forge” in a “spiritual” sense. !!!!! He is good for belly laughs, no?

  24. He is, indeed. He is!! It’s the only thing that could possibly redeem him — his involuntary funniness.

    And, well, if you’re going to claim somebody spiritually forged something, all the evidence is supersensible, and nobody can say anything about your claims because only you can see them.

  25. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Oh lol.

    Thank you Cathy, I intend to carry on being fecund but possibly without interruptions from acolytes of obscure sects. Unless they plan to stand outside the window howling.

  26. Anyone standing outside your window howling is bound to be a canineosophist. Some of them take their mission very seriously. You should invite them for snacks and tummy rubs. It stops the noice temporarily.

  27. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Of course. But their sect is not obscure. They are always welcome (and not uncommon either as a matter of fact)

  28. “nobody can say anything about your claims because only you can see them.”

    Alas, those claims are in fact still on his web sites where even us ordinary mortals can indeed see them.

  29. Diana — ‘Alas, those claims are in fact still on his web sites where even us ordinary mortals can indeed see them.’

    Ah, yes. What I was thinking of, but didn’t express (I notice), was the proof or the reasoning behind the claims. (I had written something longer, but it turned out to be too convoluted, and I erased stuff, too much of it…)

    Thetis — ‘their sect is not obscure’ — they have a few obscure practices though. I find the rolling in rotten stuff quite obscure, and it certainly always happens obscurely. As far as humans are concerned, the dogs go about this practice occultly, if you could say that… You know that suspicious silence when a dog is doing something secret. No howling, then.

  30. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Alicia – I was only thinking this a few hours ago, considering the digging. A whole map of smells we don’t understand because we can’t sense it ourselves. We may never incarnate to that level. And it is worth bearing in mind that some dogs choose to incarnate as humans for karmic reasons, even though we are inferior. None of them choose to be cats though.

  31. ThetisMercurio · ·

    sorry Diana ;)

  32. “Thetis — ‘their sect is not obscure’ — they have a few obscure practices though. I find the rolling in rotten stuff quite obscure, and it certainly always happens obscurely. ”

    Oh, goodness, I was mixed up here, thought we were still talking about anthroposophists.

    But you have indeed identified a difference between dogs and cats. Cats do not do that “suspicious silence” thing that dogs do when they’ve done wrong – cats have no sense at all of having done wrong, ever; it is not a concept that they would understand. They may know that their owner is displeased about something, but it would never occur to them that it was their fault.

    I do have a cat that digs. It drives me crazy – I mean she digs in the bed. She has been digging in the bed for years and never apparently gets any closer to figuring out that it is not going to work.

  33. Diana — it’s not that dogs think they’re doing anything wrong, of course. It’s just that they know the people on 2 legs don’t understand the deeper spiritual truths. ‘The world isn’t ready yet’, as mr Dog puts it, ‘I have to remain silent’. Presumably, in the future everyone who’s reached the higher level of spiritual enlightenment will understand roling in things that stink.

    We could just as well be talking about anthroposophists, though they are less enlightened. (Eurythmy is no proper replacement for rolling in old carcasses… even if eurythmists look like old carcasses… sorry, digressing.)

    Thetis —

    ‘A whole map of smells we don’t understand because we can’t sense it ourselves. We may never incarnate to that level. And it is worth bearing in mind that some dogs choose to incarnate as humans for karmic reasons, even though we are inferior. None of them choose to be cats though.’

    Very true, very true. We’re just nodding, can’t find anything to add. The Dog nose really is a higher spiritual organ.

  34. ‘I remember asking him years ago (also when he was posting all sorts of ridiculous things about how wrong everybody else is, liars, frauds, et c) what it is that draws him to anthroposophy, why he thinks it’s so important, why it means so much to him. He has never ever replied to such questions. ‘

    He actually did reply. When I asked him on twitter today. I’m still a bit stunned, to be honest.

  35. What did he say? I’m stunned that he could fit it all in a Twitter message. You know how Anthros are powerless against the urge to pontificate for hours on any given subject.

  36. Even more stunningly, it didn’t include any accusations against Peter S, Cathy, Thetis, myself, et c. Sune may pontificate for hours but lots of it is just on repeat and has very little to do with anthroposophy.

    There were more than one twitter messages though. Nevertheless, I’m still taken aback. I’m in shock.

  37. It has to be said that I babble more than he does on twitter. It may be because of my inner, pontificating anthroposophist. Lots of skeptics have it too.

  38. What did he say?

  39. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Diana – stuff may change: http://twitter.com/#!/The3bee

    He keeps saying ‘reality from a human perspective’. What are the rest of us doing?

    But never fear, he can’t use MycroftII because he has to keep on his timeline a discussion I had with one of his 20 followers – who denied that his company is involved in PR. Even though it is. Curiously, though when I addressed this chap he hadn’t written anything on twitter for 17 hours, and he doesn’t follow me, the minute I addressed him re Sune he was there in seconds. This must be coincidence. He was oddly defensive.

    Anyway here is his (not a PR) firm – absolutely not intending to help the Steiner movement with their branding issue at all in any way. Of course not. http://www.thinkagainmedia.co.uk/

    Even though he is now following Waldorf Answers. Also a string of fairly unusual tweeps I follow. But it would be paranoid to have noticed how particular this is.

    I insulted him, which I regret though only because I did so before coming across the Shakespearian random insult generator.

    http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/Shaker/index.html?

    I hope this handy tool will be useful when addressing Sune in the future. For example:
    ‘Thou goatish fat-kidneyed blind-worm!’ You wouldn’t have thought that up for yourself, would you?

  40. Thetis,

    Is this PR firm a 3-person operation with the 3 pictured here: Marc, Jane and Ian?
    http://www.thinkagainmedia.co.uk/who-we-are/

    If so, their e-mail addys are right there, so one could send them all kinds of stuff, which they could then compost for their new client, the SWSF.

    In looking at their website where they claim to be “maximising your impact” the website does not seem impactful at all.

    Wait! I’m being inspired. (Yes, I have the mind of a PR hack/flack. I should work for them.)

    Let’s say our new client was the Anthro Society. How to make Steiner more impactful? Yes, we could start by changing the “Christ Impulse” into, yes, of course. . .

    The Christ Impact

    And then we illustrate the text with interjections from the Batman and Robin fight scenes: KA-POW!!! BIFF! SPLAT!!!
    to show the impact Steiner has in fighting Ahriman today in the world and in Waldorf kindergardens where Ahriman has most deeply infiltrated — in the guise of Lucifer.

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-hah!!!

  41. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Tom – you’re good at this.

    This unfortunate (not PR) company probably has no intention of helping the SWSF or Sune rebrand their image or make themselves more impactful. It’s probably just my imagination. But this fellow did stand out as a Sune follower or I would never have noticed him. Perhaps he didn’t see the stream of bile from Mycroft aimed at me, Peter, me, Peter, me – including tweets suggesting that I’m SICK and have my heart on the wrong side of my body. This is untrue: I have two hearts like Dr Who, one on each side. We will ignore the fact that our friend is now following Waldorf Answers too and contemplate the task of any (sorry, not PR) firm called upon to advise the esoteric. The task is Herculean. The rewards are slight.

    Anyway, Tom, you should go for the top and work for Emma Craigie, the SWSF spokeswoman who is the only SW representative prepared to speak to the media until CO Jeremy Smith has stopped crying.
    http://www.waldorf-swlondon.org/news/an-evening-with-emma-craigie/

    Any advice for her?

  42. ThetisMercurio · ·

    A friend has just sent me this this:

    http://www.thinkagainmedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/CrisisManagement.pdf

    ‘Tips, technique and practice in dealing with hostile questioning’

    That could be useful, admittedly. In a crisis.
     

  43. Actually, I have an old post I never posted. It contains some ironic remarks by me (if I’m not mistaken) about a PR advice folder issued by the PR company that was consulted by the Swedish Waldorf School Federation, according to one of the meeting minutes. What most baffled me was the advice about meddling with wikipedia. (One could almost think that someone at the W Federation was advising the PR company instead of the other way around…)

    Perhaps I should post it. It is in Swedish, though.

  44. Bah. It’s so old it would require some rewriting. They recommend using celebrities, though.

  45. Thetis ‘Anyway here is his (not a PR) firm…’

    What? He said they’re not about PR? It sounds just like PR to me:

    http://www.thinkagainmedia.co.uk/what-we-do/

  46. It seems he actually did. And he follows both Sune and Robert. Has not yet found @the3bee.

  47. ThetisMercurio · ·

    He should follow the3bee to get the full set.

  48. @Thetis,

    I have to thank you for introducing me to Emma Craigie. God, you really know how to thicken the plot and complicate my life here. I’m still grokking away at this very important connection, now looking at her peerage, but I never thought I’d be having chocolate cake with Hitler for my dessert this afternoon.

    @Zooey & Thetis

    As for the Think Media Impact people, you still haven’t said who the person is. Is it one of these 3 listed in the Contact section? If not, who is it then? And finally, where the Hale-Bopp is Jeremy Smith?

    all 3 have [at] thinkagainmedia.co.uk

    Marc Jaffrey marc[at]

    Ian Parkinson ian[at]

    Jane Bolger jane[at]

    Think Again Media Limited is registered as a company in England and Wales – No. 6589404

    You see, because of my anthroposophical expertise at three-folding (mainly chairs before and after Anthro lectures, even ones I’ve given myself) , I’m also very good at triangulating, so I’ve got one vertex in Emma, and the 2nd is one of the above Impact people, right? And the 3rd? Well, I’ll have to wait on that one, but in the meantime, I love chocolate cake and I can even eat it in German, so I’m cutting myself an extra slice and dedicating it to “Uncle Fuehrer.”

    I hope the cosmic irony is not lost on youse guys — that we are steeped in discussions about PR related to SWSF, and here the adviser to SWSF has just published a book about the daughter of Uncle Fuehrer’s main PR man, Joseph Goebbels.

  49. Thetis,

    What can you tell me about the cartoon of the guy watering the Steiner plant and the Montessori plant? Is it William Rees-Mogg, the father of Emma Craigie?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1198992/WILLIAM-REES-MOGG-How-children-A-education.html

    And then, the Sexey school! I had to enlarge the font to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating in some Freudian manner. Is that the British spelling for what I think the word is?

    I mean are they a big enough school to have say, Sexey Cheerleaders?

  50. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Tom – that’s Michael Gove. He is our Secretary of State for Education. Stop laughing. Why are you laughing? This is entirely serious and I cannot see why you should find English politics so amusing.

    Apart from that I think you’ve confusing this with St Trinians.
    http://www.comicsreporter.com/images/uploads/sttriniansleft.jpg

  51. To complicate things further, there’s a House plant. He’s ideologically friends with Rees-Moggs, about whom I know absolutely nothing except that his name sounds as though he’s derived from a dark comedy about murder, 18th century style. I’m sure Rees-Moggs waters the House plant. Happily and frequently.

    Mr Gnome has walked out and disappeared in the dark Woods. We may have to triangulate to find him again (so your expertise could be useful, Tom). Provided he hasn’t turned his cell phone off in fear of the modern world and spooky radiation. http://www.ehow.com/how_2385973_triangulate-cell-phone.html

    Jeremy Smith has not yet come up with a fool-proof method of rebutting anthroposophy. He’s too much of a fool himself.

    The person is Marc Jeffreys.

    I have folded a few chairs myself, but I’m not sure it made me any wiser.

  52. Oh Dog. There he is, mr Gnome, watering the House plant. There’s even photographic evidence. Do clairvoyants work at The Telegraph, Thetis?

  53. Oh, Rees-Moggs wrote the article himself. I guess he wouldn’t have to be clairvoyant then…

  54. Whew. I have no idea what *any* of you are talking about.

  55. Me neither. It’s British politics, so I have to make it up.

    Mr Gnome is their minister for education. Mr House is a Steiner supporter. The Woods wrote a report, and mrs Woods is an angelic reiki healer; they like Steiner education as well. Rees-Moggs is a very funny name. My knowledge ends there.

  56. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Believe me, the politicians here are making it up as they go along.

    Mr Gnome is a mixture of Mr Gove and Mr Bean.

    Dr (Tree) House is a very cross post-modernist academic and ex-Steiner teacher who writes for the Mother Magazine.
    http://www.themothermagazine.co.uk/latestissue/

    The Woods are for sale, as is most British woodland at the moment. Mrs Woods is not a dryad, I should know.

    William Rees-Mogg is known as Mystic Mogg, due to his many inaccurate predictions.

    His son Jacob Rees-Mogg is an MP – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7094258.ece

    But Unity already wrote about this some time ago.
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/11/10/more-tory-support-for-occult-society-schools/

    I hope that clarifies everything ;)

  57. Oh, it sure does. Though a Tree-House isn’t such a bad thing, structurally. Are you sure he isn’t more of a Card-House? Remove one card, and the whole thing collapses.

    And I note that the the name is Rees-Mogg not Rees-Moggs. The difference should be insignificant. He’s Mystic anyway.

  58. Provided you build it in a healthy tree and not a rotten one.

  59. Thanks for trying :)
    Brain overload. I was not aware of ‘The Mother” magazine. Articles like “The spiritual practice of breastfeeding” give me hives now … once upon a time such stuff really enticed me. carry on …

  60. The Mother magazine is a goldmine. I have never seen so many revolting topics covered in one single magazine. And I only looked at the covers (I think there’s a paper version of the real magazine?).

  61. ThetisMercurio · ·

    ‘Jeremy Smith has not yet come up with a fool-proof method of rebutting anthroposophy. He’s too much of a fool himself.’

    This may sound wrong but is in fact absolutely spot-on. The SWSF are prepared to repudiate Steiner and deny anthroposophy in order to acquire funding. They would deny their own grandmothers if it got them money. So they are literally rebutting anthroposophy. It’s like a wraith at their door.

  62. Well, yes, this does appear to be the case.

    (We discussed Smith’s (and others’) futile and stupid rebuttals last year, you may remember Thetis, but for potential new readers: http://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/rebutting-anthroposophy/)

  63. ThetisMercurio · ·

    That’s a great article, Alicia.

    From the famous seminar where Emma Craigie and company reflect on ‘the poison on the net':

    “A PR officer would be required to place positive stories in the media, and also to counter the stream of negative ones. It was considered important to get a PR strategy sorted out soon, especially if a large number of Steiner schools opt-in for state funding at an early stage. It was felt that the Steiner schools Fellowship should start cultivating good media relations as soon as possible.

    It was felt that a central plank of the PR strategy should be to bring media into the schools to show exactly what goes on there, and that another thing to consider would be a re-branding exercise. It is the association with Steiner’s writings that is perceived to be the main problem.”

    So, is the ‘poison on the net’ in reality, if they are entirely honest with themselves, Steiner himself?

  64. It’s when I read that document I started to feel very sorry for Steiner. Because that’s exactly what they say. Superficially they blame their critics of course, but the real issues they have are with Steiner, and they can’t bear hearing about him. They don’t want to be openly associated with him (they aren’t grateful towards him — are they? not very reverent either…). And those awful critics won’t stop reminding them!

  65. “is the ‘poison on the net’ in reality, if they are entirely honest with themselves, Steiner himself?”

    That is exactly spot on.

    Similarly, defenders of Steiner famously cry “Out of context!” when critics post disturbing or offensive Steiner quotes. Then, I will normally add context: quote some of the material preceding or following the disturbing quote, and/or offer some further information about the lecture or series of lectures the quote is drawn from, or point out the social or political context of the time. The Steiner defender, then, is quite often silent or leaves the discussion altogether, probably informed offline by Sune or his buddies that the critic is a Big Meanie and they should cut off contact.

  66. ThetisMercurio · ·

    After all, critics are only pointing out the blindingly obvious.

    One minute a family is good – they sign a petition, they send their child to a school.

    Then they’re bad – they’ve had a negative experience, they want to make sense of it, they read about the pedagogy, they speak out on mumsnet or in a comment after an article. Poison.

  67. ThetisMercurio · ·

    .. and who are the buddies of Sune? Is the SWSF involved in some way with Sune – as he told mumsnet they were?

    Their site certainly links to his Waldorf Answers.

    (also Eugene Schwartz seminars, which is as clear an indication as you could possibly get that anthroposophy is the point. http://millennialchild.com/ )

  68. alfa-omega · ·

    http://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/why-would-the-swedish-waldorf-school-federation-want-to-support-this/#comment-6813

    I have some funny memories of this from the Waldorf school I was a part of for a while. There were some who read aloud Steiner at the weekly faculty meetings, and some who got very silent when I, a new regular teacher second day at duty, asked “is there some Steiner’s book on pedagogy somewhere here? There must be!” (I got no answer whatsoever, just silence.)
    I started wondering “just what place is it, anyway?” pretty soon…)

  69. I’m still on the mailing list for our local Steiner school. There is a new disclaimer at the bottom of the weekly email bulletin:

    “The views stated by contributors do not necessarily represent those held by XXXX Steiner School or Steiner Education in general.”

    *boggle* There’s never anything more exciting than announcements about head lice or days out with the gnomes etc. in these bulletins. Although, there is a new Steiner study group…

  70. “The views stated by contributors do not necessarily represent those held by XXXX Steiner School or Steiner Education in general.”

    LOL. Sounds like they’re lawyering up.

  71. ThetisMercurio · ·

    It’s the same for the newsletter from the Meadow school, Bruton:

    Disclaimer: The views stated by contributors are not necessarily those held by The Meadow School or of Steiner Education in general.

    I expect it’s standard.

  72. ‘…I, a new regular teacher second day at duty, asked “is there some Steiner’s book on pedagogy somewhere here? There must be!” (I got no answer whatsoever, just silence.)’

    They thought, ‘oh no, oh no! can’t have people read Steiner, it’ll set off the alarm bells…!’ Not consciosly exactly like that of course, but I have a feeling they’d rather avoid having people read Steiner instead of the chosen quotes (the quotes waldorf people choose are never out of context… of course…).

    As for the disclaimer, yep, they’d better have one. Otherwise people could be, like, quoting their newsletters on mumsnet pretending these newsletters have something to do with Steiner education…

  73. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Was just looking at News on Roger Rawlings’ site – aways interesting – and saw that he’s written about this post of Alicia’s. His news items move so fast I thought it was worth quoting him here:
    https://sites.google.com/site/waldorfwatch/news

    ‘Anthroposophists think they are on a divine mission. Thus, Steiner told Waldorf teachers that they serve the gods and are the conduit for the gods’ divine plan. [See "Here's the Answer".] Anthroposophists often vigorously defend their efforts on behalf of the gods. Sune Nordwall is one of the most active of these defenders.

    Steiner taught his followers to believe that they are surrounded by enemies. “[O]ur enemies are springing up on every side…” — Rudolf Steiner, SECRETS OF THE THRESHOLD (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), “Words of Welcome”. [See, e.g., "Enemies".]

    Steiner also warned his followers about dark conspiracies threatening the forces of virtue. “[T]here are the closed secret brotherhoods of a nasty kind whose very aim is not to let wisdom enter into humanity, so that people will remain stupid and foolish as far as the spiritual world is concerned….” — Rudolf Steiner, SECRET BROTHERHOODS and the Mystery of the Human Double (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2004), p. 108. [See, e.g., "Double Trouble".]

    And Steiner warned against subhuman monsters (but he told his followers to stay mum about this, for fear of offending people). “Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings … [A] number of people are going around who, because they are completely ruthless, have become something that is not human, but instead are demons in human form. Nevertheless, we do not want to shout that to the world. Our opposition is large enough already.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 650.

    Faced with such dreadful opponents, Anthroposophists sometimes employ questionable tactics. This is something you may want to bear in mind when evaluating statements Anthroposophists occasionally make about people they perceive as their enemies.”

    You can see that ‘poison on the web’ was pretty mild.

  74. Perhaps we aren’t a crusade but a ‘closed secret brotherhood[s] of a nasty kind’, perhaps consisting of people who are ‘are demons in human form’! Life’s exciting!

    In any case it should be a lot more fun being someone secret, nasty and demonic, as opposed to being some stuck-up twit doing eurythmy.

  75. “[O]ur enemies are springing up on every side…”

    I think he’s talking about toxic mushrooms.

    Anyway, you wonder — how many anthroposophists believe this junk? Really? It seems to me that most anthroposophists wouldn’t actually believe they’re opposed by ‘closed secret brotherhoods of a nasty kind’?? For dogs sake, most of them have brains. I hope. This question goes deeper I guess. But even with Sune, is he really bonkers enough to think there are demons in human form?

    That’s supposed to be slightly provocative, because obviously some anthroposophists believe really nutty things (look at some email-lists), but I can’t really fathom that most of them would believe all of this unreasonable bollocks.

  76. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Roger’s slightly tongue-in-cheek, as always although quoting from Steiner (he doesn’t make this stuff up). I suspect that this would be perceived metaphorically. Would a demon be able to use a Mac, for example? Or even a PC? Or would the green slime and fiery breath bugger the keys?

    On the other hand the paranoia is familiar.

  77. Oh. A standard disclaimer. How boring.

    I’ve often wondered about the red eyes that always seem to appear in photographs of myself. And little M too.

    Then again, the things that otherwise apparently sane Christians believe has always amazed me.

  78. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Mark H – I bet the vicar doesn’t though.

    It’s medieval, certainly.

  79. ‘I suspect that this would be perceived metaphorically.’

    Well, I suppose so, but there’s so much madness around. (MarkH is right, what people believe to be true is some amazing stuff.)

    Thetis: I don’t know, but people who run linux systems, like I do, definitely have demons > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daemon_(computer_software)

    (Not to speak of gnomes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME)

  80. The virgin birth is every bit as ridiculous as demons in human form. Actually, it’s sillier.

  81. ThetisMercurio · ·

    Alicia – that explains it.

    Now you’ll get a host of fundies and Creationists complaining at you too. I bet you didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition.

  82. Not to speak of God and the Devil. With capital letters.

  83. I already experience a sort of canine inquisition everytime mr D has a bath.

  84. “They thought, ‘oh no, oh no! can’t have people read Steiner, it’ll set off the alarm bells…!’”

    Totally … at our Steiner school, if someone who wasn’t already “in the know” started asking about Steiner, a wary silence always fell over the room at once. Teachers started exchanging glances, working out silently among themselves who should “handle” this person, what they should and shouldn’t be told, and someone would work on getting talkative people who weren’t Steiner devotees out of the room quickly, before they popped out with something embarrassing. Saw this over and over.

  85. “Anyway, you wonder — how many anthroposophists believe this junk? ”

    Lots of them believe it! Frank Smith quoted a similar passage just yesterday on the anthroposophy_tomorrow list – all about enemies all around.

  86. But Frank doesn’t seem too deprived of brain cells. I’m just thinking, it can’t be possible. But I suppose it is.

    Here’s the quote, btw.

    “And above all we should not think that the sharpest powers of opposition are not active from all sides against what strives for the well-being of humanity. I have already indicated to you what is being done in the world in opposition to our movement, what hostility is activated against us. I feel myself obliged to make these things known to you, so that you should never say to yourself: We have already refuted this or that. We have refuted nothing, because these opponents are not interested in the truth. They prefer to ignore as much as possible the facts and simply aim slanderous accusations from all corners…” R. Steiner – The History and Actuality of Imperialism http://www.southerncrossreview.org/75/imperialism3.html

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/46176)

  87. [...] Nordwall to ‘monitor the debate’ on the web. However, his actions have included an alleged threat to Mumsnet with libel if they posted about Steiner Schools. He uses pseudonyms to post [...]

  88. [...] paid Sune Nordwall to ‘monitor the debate’ on the web. However, his actions have included an alleged threat to Mumsnet with libel if they posted about Steiner Schools. He uses pseudonyms to post [...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 766 other followers