this is how the movement defends itself

And decent anthroposophists wonder why waldorf critics are so reluctant to stop being critical. Or — refuse to cease with the sin of all sins, the one thing unforgiveable, being angry.

sn_20121227I’m reduced to a ‘repeated former psychiatric patient’ — excuse me? I can only say one thing: what the fuck — and a professor of history is an ‘intellectual con artist’. Really, you’re so nice. Anthroposophists are so nice. All this spiritual improvement. All this working on oneself. All this enlightenment. So elevated. So ethical. So above the rest of us, where we are, stuck below in the materialistic swamp (unlike, I presume, Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express).

But there’s really only one thing for someone like me to say to this person: Fuck you. Believe me, that’s the most enlightened response I can conjure up. And even that is more than you deserve.

(For those who still don’t know it: the man who writes these things is a (former, he claims) employee of the Swedish Waldorf Federation. I think it’s time to suggest that he seeks psychiatric treatment.)

(Source.)

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55 comments

  1. As a, probably, pro Steiner approach parent (have children who attend state schools but if I had the money I might send them to a Steiner school despite the criticisms), I can only say I find the former repeated psychiatric patient the most engaging and most honest person on the web talking about Steiner. She doesn’t like it but her intellectual honesty andandandand hum

  2. Quelle honte !

  3. Anonymous: Well, thank you, I think, although I cannot figure out how that was going to end ;-)

    I suppose these topics have been brushed upon before, here on the blog, but if we disqualify everyone who’s ever been treated for depression or sleeplessness (or other ailments of the mind) from public debate, then very few people would be left with a voice.

    One of them would be Sune Nordwall.

    And the world would be much poorer for it, I’d say.

  4. that pretty much sums it up, Grégoire!

  5. Entre faire des procès aux critiques, répandre des calomnies et se trouver des anciens élèves Waldorf qui ont adoré leur scolarité et qui affirment qu’il n’ont pas du tout été influencé par l’anthroposophie (http://www.lismont.fr/textes/temoignage-ecole-waldorf/) mais qui oublient de mentionner qu’ils sont devenus anthroposophes, bravo !

  6. Anthroposophical commenters trying to submit their wisdom on this thread seem to think it’s just funny. Of course, I don’t exactly share such sentiments. I’m glad I am moderating comments.

    Grégoire — I think it’s impossible to go through waldorf education and remain unaffected by anthroposophy. Not everyone is as deeply affected, but everyone is affected (whether they are aware of it or not, or want it or not).

    One thing just struck me: I wonder how many years Chenault spent in a waldorf school. Sometimes when one digs deeper, it wasn’t such a long time. Some years ago, Sune made a big thing out of presidential candidate Kerry’s time in a waldorf school. Turned out it was a tiny part of his education. He’s also been obsessing about Norwegian prime minister, Stoltenberg. But he spent only a part of his education in waldorf school too — and came from a very privileged home (his father was an important politician too, and could provide all the resources needed).

    And, then again, why are all these celebrities important? Why are they more important than us — do they know more about waldorf education than I do? Or Grégoire does? I bet they don’t.

    It’s so ridiculous it makes me nauseous on waldorf’s behalf.

  7. Funnily enough, I’m right now reading a book by Zajonc, on anthroposophical meditation, a book which was recommended to me by some anthroposophist (I think it was Jan Luiten). I had read Zajonc before, so I thought, why not, and I finally got hold of the book. What strikes me is that some of the most fervent anthroposophists have evidently never passed the first stages of this spiritual development on this meditative ‘path’. Judging by their accomplishments in the world.

    Anyway. Now — because I have to go to sleep — I will leave you with a Swedish song. It’s a lovely song, and sort of christmassy, although I never thought of it as such. English text here: http://www.golyr.de/triakel/songtext-julvisa-i-finnmarken-engl-614115.html (it’s beautiful, read!).

  8. Anon again · ·

    Re my earlier post: I regard you as a reliable source on the web even though I think I reach a different personal final conclusion. Your writing shouts speaking honestly from the heart with a rational, logical and fair (albeit based on your own personal experiences and therefore “biased”) voice. There is something profoundly shabby about attacking you in this way. Such a dirty attack may reflect an inability to attack you on other grounds. The fact that I am still “pro” many of the Steiner ideas that I have read about but still read your blog shows there is something for people with different ideas to learn from your writings. And, a plea for those with power from someone who values many of the ideas you espouse: please stop the case against Grégoire Perra!

  9. Thank you very much!

    He couldn’t actually offer an argument against my supposed argument, as I actually didn’t make the argument he claims I made (‘steiner schools are not about educating kids’). Otherwise, saying why he disagreed with me would have been a great way to proceed, really and truly. Here’s what I did say, and what he’s responding to: ‘ [Steiner education is] not just education, in the way we normally think of it.’ (The article I was writing this about, in a blog post earlier today, clearly substantiates this claim, too.) I would argue that those words — ‘not just’ — are worth paying attention to, because if you do you can’t come away with the viewpoint he ascribes to me. But, of course, this was not what it was about for him anyway. Not that any of this has anything to do with the psychiatric state of my mind (which is not bad at all — not that that should be said, because it reinforces the prejudice that illness rather than lack of substance of arguments is what makes people unworthy of listening to). Being able to read and comprehend helps, though.

    ‘And, a plea for those with power from someone who values many of the ideas you espouse: please stop the case against Grégoire Perra!’

    I hope they hear it. I sincerely hope they hear your voice and other similar voices and that they understand what they’re hearing.

  10. I’d like to know if the behaviour is evil or inane. Or both. How can anyone not lose respect completely for an organisation that hires such a man to monitor critics? How not?!? Sune himself is beyond reach by decency (evidently), but I actually think the federation ows us an explanation. Even more so since they are a tax-funded organisation. That such an organisation pays people who work actively to denigrate and defame and hurt others is unbelievable and should be utterly embarrassing.

    In all those years though — not a word from the organisation. They think it’s just fine. Presumably, I deserve this. I’m not Kenneth Chenault, after all. I’m just an ordinary former student, I didn’t become the CEO of a huge credit card company.

    The moral decreptitude. Gangrenous soul life. You wonder how some people are incarnated, so to speak…

  11. I do not know, by the way, how anyone who is neither an übermensch nor a robot can go through what I did or experience such an environment and be psychologically unaffected by it. I do not know. Can you show me the person, the child, who can be hit, bit, kicked, constantly denigrated, intellectually and emotionally suffocated, and so on, for years and emerge from it unscathed?

    I guess those anthroposophists who believe themselves to be super-humans can do this — but for the ordinary or sensitive child, this truly not possible.

    I do not know who could have such experiences without running a risk for even long-lasting consequences. To feel panic about school for so many years — it becomes ingrained, it doesn’t stop because you’re allowed to leave. It might even get worse, in the subsequent years, because that’s sometimes how humand work. All the school had to do was to say: we cannot take care of this child and we cannot be sure this child is safe here. But through nine years, nobody did a damn thing. And then this movement has the despicable taste of hiring the person who posts such viciousness as displayed by that post.

    I find it all very difficult to comprehend. I guess that we have to use that word again: cult. This is what cults do.

  12. @ Alicia

    What can you do about it?

    I also have an anthroposophical ‘spokesman’ chasing me on the net. I call him the Dutch Sune Nordwall. :-)

    If you ignore their attacks, they even get worse. In my case he even published about my kids.

    @ gperra

    This former steinerschool student who you refer to, Jonas Lismont, is a member of a family of anthroposphists, so it is obvious he defends anthroposophy. The school he attended in Belgium is the only primary steinerschool in Wallonia, the French speaking part of Belgium. This has to do with the fact that – much more than in Flanders – in Wallonia anthroposophy is known as a weird cult.

    Especially the Walloons engaged themselves for a parlementary report on cults (astablished in 1999). If you would like to take a look at that report (written in Dutch and French)…

    Part 1: http://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/pdf/49/0313/49K0313007.pdf
    Part 2: http://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/pdf/49/0313/49K0313008.pdf

    In a pdf document you can easily enter a search query.

    PS: have been reading your blog. Nice articles.

  13. So Sune is still around bullying people? Those who paid him to do it should ask for forgiveness and immediately distance themselves from his present activities. Or is the swedish waldorf movement incapable or unwilling to stop bullying?

  14. Ramon: Sune is like the template, the first…

    Ulf: It would be interesting to know who might paying for him today, as he says he’s stopped working for the federation. However, none of this is new — the problems should have been known to the federation when they hired him.

    Not once in all those years have I heard a word from anyone over there — not one word of recognition that this is not appropriate, not one word about them not condoning it. If they had said something, but no. At this point it’s gone on for so long that an apology would be in place. But they will never do that. I wonder how they view the individuals that Sune tries to denigrate.

    Actually, in the past years I’ve heard from only a few anthroposophists and/or friends of waldorf who denounce this behaviour and see it as wrong and think it should stop. None of them are working within the waldorf movement in Sweden.

    Nine years and lots of money wasted and you’re not allowed to criticize a movement — that receives public funding, no less — without being publicly humiliated for utterly irrelevant reasons. I suppose I should be ‘happy’ they aren’t suing at least.

  15. Ils commencent par dénigrer et insulter, ensuite ils poursuivent en Justice…

    They begin by denigrating and insulting, then they go on to Justice …

  16. I’m going to seize the opportunity to tell them how utterly daft that would be…

    (I’ve been threatened with it. But that was a while ago. Threats, intimidation — all thuggery. Albeit spiritually evolved thuggery…)

  17. These WS attacks look shockingly similar to the tactics used by scientology. The sooner the UK government wakes up to the nature of this cult the better.

  18. I agree — and as long as a movement condones this kind of behaviour and is so intolerant of criticism, it should be barred from public funding. It’s too late in Sweden, unfortunately.

  19. For Sune’s information, Chenault ran American Express into the ground… So yeah, big fucking deal Sune.

    Sune’s probably getting tired of the TRUTHFUL comments critics make about him and his adventures under the employ of Anthropsophists – he’s striking back but, being the sick little lying prick that he is, he can’t even force himself to make a truthful comment.

    Why doesn’t he mention, when he says “former psychiatric patient” – that you were also formerly a “WALDORF STUDENT”? For a lot of people,that would explain the “psychiatric patient” part completely. In fact, EVERY child who goes through the Waldorf experience could benefit from psychiatric therapy! Most need it badly! And let’s not even get started with the PARENTS! And what does it say about Sune, who BADLY needs psychiatric therapy but doesn’t get it?

  20. My first reaction was to be really shocked at Sune – this seems like a really hostile thing, even for Sune. Perhaps he is coming unglued.

    But then I thought perhaps the better response is to insist on solidarity with you, instead. I’m also a “repeated former psychiatric patient.” How about a show of hands? I think this should go viral. I would ask anyone reading this – critic, anthroposophist, anyone, regardless of which “side” you take in this debate, regardless your relationship to anthroposophy – to so state if they are a “repeated former psychiatric patient.”

    We can apply the label very broadly. Anyone who has ever seen either a psychiatrist or any type of counselor or therapist, raise your hand. Statistically, it is probably close to three-quarters of the population, and I’m absolutely certain that the rate would be exactly the same among Waldorf teachers, students, parents, and supporters.

    I can’t think of a better way to deflate this, and shame Sune Nordwall for this act.

  21. Keep in mind also, the people who need treatment and *don’t* seek it are the ones we really need to worry about. You know who you are …

  22. “You know who you are … ”

    Sadly, that’s true… ;)

  23. True, Pete. It — waldorf — actually ‘helped’ my career as a ‘repeated psychiatric patient’. I should have needed help in or immediately after the experience. That didn’t happen. Nobody understood; I didn’t.

    Applying the concept liberally, it would not surprise me if a majority citizend in western society has experience of some psychiatric or psychological treatment.

    (Thanks both. Must pick up dog poo. And my fingers are freezing. Will be back later.)

  24. Pssst… don’t use your fingers for that task…

  25. Haha, no. I used one of those fancy bags. Although had I used my fingers, I’m sure the poo had been deep frozen within seconds.

    When walking I just remembered one of the first (perhaps even the first) emails Sune sent me. In it he depicts a person — a swedish critic who isn’t active anymore — as mentally unstable. No arguments. You’re supposed to deduce that if somebody is unstable, they must be wrong. No argumentation needed. I don’t know a thing about that person’s health — he seems more normal than some other people, actually — but that’s irrelevant. Subsequently he’s sent similar letters to people about me. One such was a couple of years ago, and I can’t imagine he has stopped with this. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has the entire waldorf federation convinced I must be psychotic, and all my arguments too.

    This ‘view of man’, well, it does lack knowledge, enlightenment, humanity.

  26. Caroline Bratt, Bo Dahlin, Örjan Liebendörfer, Mats Pertoft, Sven-Eric Liedman och andra som offentligt företräder eller stödjer waldorfrörelsen – jag har tre frågor:

    1) Känner ni till hur Sune Nordwall behandlar och förtalar människor? Och att han har haft i uppdrag av waldorffederationen att bevaka och motverka kritik mot waldorf på nätet?
    2) Anser ni att waldorffederationen har något ansvar för vad han gjort och fortsätter att göra?
    3) Ser ni någon parallell mellan kritiken mot waldorfskolor för att de är dåliga på att stoppa mobbning och att waldorfrörelsen inte vill eller inte är förmögen att ta avstånd från Sunes handlingar?

    Sorry for the swedish, basically I asked some well-known swedish advocates of waldorf education what they think about this.

  27. Typical method used and visibly so international: they never tell you what you would be wrong, but they say you’re mad because you criticize …

    An excerpt from one of my articles on this issue, with the help of Google approximate translation:

    http://gregoireperra.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/les-pressions-du-milieu-anthroposophique/

    The accusation of distorted

    If this process still does not feel guilty, it then carries the charge of “distorted.” This explains to the person concerned, if she sees evil somewhere, it is precisely because evil is in his way of seeing things. How many times I have repeated it does whenever I pointed out what seemed to be a dysfunctional obvious that “I saw evil everywhere.” This kind of statement usually happens any justification or argument. It never tries to show you how and why you would be wrong. You simply say you’re wrong because your vision is distorted. To say it with humor: if you have the misfortune to say that the sky is blue, athroposophes accuse you of being a schtroumphe! Indeed, in the middle anthroposophic we did not spot on the ground of reason to counter an idea or point of view does not like, but proceeds by accusations against people. This approach may seem rude, but it is nonetheless very effective. Must be aware of its impact when it is your entire social environment that keeps repeating in chorus you that your perception of the world is distorted. There really what self-doubt, everything.

    Procédé typique et visiblement utilisé de façon international : ils ne vous disent jamais en quoi vous auriez tort, mais ils vous disent que vous êtes fous parce que vous les critiquez…

    Un extrait d’un de mes articles sur cette question, avec l’aide approximative de Google traduction :

    http://gregoireperra.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/les-pressions-du-milieu-anthroposophique/

    L’accusation de vision déformée

    Si ce procédé de culpabilisation ne suffit toujours pas, on porte alors l’accusation de « vision déformée ». On explique ainsi à la personne concernée que, si elle voit le mal quelque part, c’est précisément parce que le mal est dans sa manière de voir les choses. Combien de fois m’a-t-on répété, chaque fois que je faisais remarquer ce qui me semblait être un dysfonctionnent évident, que « je voyais le mal partout ». Ce genre d’affirmation se passe généralement de toute justification ou argumentation. On ne cherche jamais à vous montrer en quoi ni pourquoi vous auriez tort. On vous dit tout simplement que vous avez tort parce que votre vision est déformée. Pour le dire avec humour : si vous avez le malheur de dire que le ciel est bleu, les athroposophes vous accuseront d’être un schtroumphe ! En effet, dans le milieu anthroposophique, on ne se place jamais sur le terrain de la raison pour contrer une idée ou un point de vue qui déplaît, mais on procède par accusations contre les personnes. Cette façon de procéder peut paraître grossière, mais elle n’en est pas moins très efficace. Il faut se rendre compte de son impact lorsque c’est l’ensemble de votre environnement social qui vous répète inlassablement en chœur que votre perception du monde est faussée. Il y a véritablement de quoi douter de soi, de tout.

  28. […] Ärnström postade en fråga i en […]

  29. Ulf: I’ve posted it in a separate post. Some of them probably don’t know, but I’m quite sure that someone like Caroline Bratt knows. She was involved in the federation at the time. Her husband is the lawyer who has supported Sune’s legal threats.

    What is painful about this — and an embarrassment for the waldorf movement, in my opinion — is not that a silly person like Sune thinks that it’s ok to write like that (that it’s somehow appropriate or relevant to refer to a person’s psychiatric state instead of discussing what that person says), it is that he has the support of the movement, both the waldorf movement and the anthroposophical movement. Granted, lots of people are unaware — but I know that many aren’t. And, as far as I know, they don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. (As I’ve said, I’ve heard from a few who don’t believe this, but they aren’t part of organized anthroposophy/waldorf in Sweden.) Perhaps people think that someone doing as despicable things I supposedly do (although I assume that Sune is frequently misrepresenting my argument, as he did in that twitlonger-post) deserves it. Perhaps they see nothing strange in making irrelevant personal insinuations instead of addressing the topic. Perhaps they don’t think there’s anything wrong in calling someone they disagree with a con-man or mentally disturbed, and perhaps they think presenting it this way will invalidate the arguments of the other side. Perhaps it’s simply a question anthroposophical culture. Perhaps this seems ‘normal’.

    Or as Grégoire puts it: ‘En effet, dans le milieu anthroposophique, on ne se place jamais sur le terrain de la raison pour contrer une idée ou un point de vue qui déplaît, mais on procède par accusations contre les personnes.’

    (I’m quoting the french, because google’s translation sounded slightly odd… It’s about how arguments are replaced by personal attacks — if someone has a different opinion about something, there must be something wrong about that person, on a personal level, not on the level of arguments.)

  30. I’m mentioned (along with Andy Lewis). Sune has used the word ‘hate’ to describe me many times in the last few weeks, even over Christmas when most people were tweeting about friendlier things. If we made a word-cloud of his tweets the biggest words would be HATE / HATER / CON-ARTIST, which says a lot for a spiritual movement. His loathing of Peter Staudenmaier is almost comical – how Peter has fooled the academic establishment (with his womanly wiles? By sleight of hand?) is never explained. Sune is a nincompoop but I’ve a feeling he’s considered useful, or at least it’s not considered worth the energy needed to disagree with his tactics.

    In his correspondence with parent forum mumsnet he suggested that he was poised to:

    “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)”

    and this was particularly aimed at silencing an ex-Steiner parent who was publishing ‘libel’ – in other words quoting Steiner in his own words in a way that made supporters of Steiner schools in the UK very uncomfortable.

    The SWSF have never denied that their ‘legal representatives’ were involved. Neither has Sune.

    Of course lots of people have in the course of their lives a need for the support of mental health services or therapists. Alicia’s blog is highly literate and creative, it’s therefore a threat – that’s all. How many followers does Sune have on twitter? Who does he think he’s talking TO? The conversation is primarily with us.

  31. He’s gone more extreme lately, it appears to me. He’s called you a ‘hater’ repeatedly. I actually mentioned this in a recent post in Swedish, although I didn’t mention you explicitly, Melanie. (https://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/kommentar-till-diskussion-om-steiners-rasistiska-uttalanden-m-m/) And he’s been going on about ‘hate groups’ for years. To use such a description is a complete affront. It’s supposed to lump waldorf critics together with groups like KKK. I guess it’s the same thing to them. After all, criticize anthroposophy and you’re opposing the cosmic order.

    I don’t know, but perhaps that post is the real cause for this recent retaliation of his, as I actually didn’t say what he claims I said (steiner schools are not about education, period). I don’t know.

    Good you’re mentioning Percy Bratt. Husband of Caroline Bratt. He knows that Sune is using his name to threaten people, and from what I can tell, he doesn’t mind, either.

    Oddly, none of the Swedish waldorf proponents or representatives who have joined twitter in the last few months are following Sune. And he’s not following them. I assume they’d rather not be associated with him publicly, not on twitter, because it is so public, because it is important to give people another impression of waldorf than the embarrassing side Sune represents. Of course, nobody would be prepared to distance themselves from him — he’s still doing a ‘good’ job. It’s just that people who want to be respected — which is understandable — can’t be associated with that stuff. Who would want to be. I get that.

    I’m sorry but I do not know how any movement involved in public activities such as educating children — mostly children of non-members in anthroposohical organisations — can expect to be beyond criticism. I do not understand how they can expect people to shut up — if they’re unhappy with what they’ve been sold — and how they can believe that, if people don’t shut up, it’s ok to threaten, intimidate or even sue.

  32. Considering the recent two videos from the Waldorf world, I think it’s Waldorf that would be smart to shut up. Sune’s karma is going to catch up to him soon.

  33. “None of the Swedish waldorf proponents or representatives who have joined twitter in the last few months are following Sune. And he’s not following them. I assume they’d rather not be associated with him publicly,”

    I think you’ve put your finger on it. He’s useful even if he is something embarrassing. That has a simple solution: Continue to be grateful that he’s out there doing this dirty work, while keeping a discreet distance, publicly. Don’t publicly disavow, don’t publicly endorse, just let Sune be Sune. You can always pretend to have been away on vacation if something embarrassing happened. Mildly say, “Oh, Sune doesn’t speak for us” if pressed for a personal response, but don’t ask him to stop, and don’t make any official statements disassociating yourself or denouncing his tactics. Isn’t that what happens?

    It makes sense that the official paid arrangement came to an end. Why should they pay him? He’ll do it even without pay, he did it before anyone thought of paying him and he’s still doing it afterward. If he’ll do the same disgusting things you want him to do, but you don’t have to bother shelling out cash AND can you deny any official connection to him, this is a sweet deal.

  34. “Oh, Sune doesn’t speak for us”
    They did that with Eugene Schwartz too… when it suited them.

  35. “Continue to be grateful that he’s out there doing this dirty work, while keeping a discreet distance, publicly.”

    Isn’t that a little difficult to do when they continually link to his website? Many Waldorf schools even link to Sune’s site. I’d call that a smoking gun…

  36. Yeah, that’s where the part comes in about pretending to be on vacation whenever he does something really offensive or thuggish, like trying to smear Alicia as a mental patient. You will find the people who link to him and quote him when it’s convenient, somehow just don’t know anything about that.

  37. curt jansson · ·

    Alicia,

    I see that Sune Nordwall is after you with his hatchet. Of all the nutjobs and nincompoops within the AntSoc, he is propably the worst. And what is worse, he is propably beyond help. I cannot help in any other way than moral support (for what m y morality is worth ;). And repeating the words of the commentator above: Your integrity humhumhum… is, even in my experience, outstanding. For an adversary, you are of princely quality and honesty devoutly to be wished in antros and politicians alike.

  38. Curt, thank you! For some reason, your other comment ended up as a comment to the image rather than as a comment to the post (it’s an idiotic improvement by wordpress, one can now comment on each individual image… which is only confusing). I’ll copy it here:

    ‘Alicia,
    Sune Nordwall har aldrig tagits på allvar utanför sin egen krets av nötknäppare och knäppskallar.
    Av ovanstående förstår man varför mannen överallt där han rört sig, varit (och är) en social katastrof.
    In English: The man, named Sune Nordwall, has never been taken seriously by anyone, antro or non antro, outside his own close-knit circle of nut-jobs within the AAG. From the abovestanding one understands why and how the guy everywhere and in every social circumstance, has been a total cathaclysm and a perfect Nincompoop.’ (http://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/this-is-how-the-movement-defends-itself/sn_20121227/#comment-22216)

    The inevitable question: is the Waldorf Federation a close-knit circle of nutjobs? I have occasionally suspected it.

    I don’t expect Sune to change — and one reason I don’t bring this up more often is that, of course, there’s no point. I’ve long been convinced he can’t help it. Maybe the entire Waldorf federation is in the same predicament… But, if so, that is worth to pay attention to.

  39. >it’s an idiotic improvement by wordpress, one can now comment on each individual image

    This has nearly tripped me up a couple of times, too.

  40. Bo Dahlin · ·

    A late answer to Ulf’s questions: I know that Sune spends a lot of time on the Internet defending waldorf and anthroposophy, but how he does it I do not know anything about. But considering the sometimes rather shameful attacks I would not be surprised that he himself can also be “evil” in his responses. Anthroposophists are no angels, even if some of them perhaps like to appear as such. I say this without any knowledge of the case(s) you are discussing here.

  41. Bo Dahlin, are you trying to perfectly demonstrate what I said above about Waldorf’s inadequate response to Sune Nordwall?
    “Continue to be grateful that he’s out there doing this dirty work, while keeping a discreet distance, publicly. Don’t publicly disavow, don’t publicly endorse, just let Sune be Sune. You can always pretend to have been away on vacation if something embarrassing happened …”

  42. “But considering the sometimes rather shameful attacks I would not be surprised that he himself can also be “evil” in his responses. ”

    Did Alicia shamefully attack Sune?

    ” I say this without any knowledge of the case(s) you are discussing here.”

    Obviously… but why comment at all if only to say you don’t care to know what Sune’s doing, AND that you don’t know what we’re talking about? I guess your only point was that you are excusing Sune by (shamefully) assuming there were “shameful attacks” made by Alicia to provoke his response.

  43. Anonymous is me, Diana – sorry!!

  44. Speechless.

    Still enormously relieved that there are those who understand why Sune’s description — meant to be denigrating — was irrelevant and inappropriate.

  45. “I know that Sune spends a lot of time on the Internet defending waldorf and anthroposophy, but how he does it I do not know anything about. ”

    Right.

  46. No, I’m not really speechless, but I have other things to do.

    I’d like to say: this is a tactic Sune uses. He claims people are mentally unstable, thus they should be disregarded. He does this publicly and privately, via emails. I find this despicable. Fine — disagree with me, dislike me, hate me, if that floats your boat, I don’t mind. That’s not the issue. I have disagreed with Sune vehemently. But when Sune is wrong it is because he’s wrong. It is not because he’s mentally unstable. Although that might go some way to explain some peculiarities about his demenour.

    Alright, some people don’t like anthroposophy. They say things about. Lots of people say worse things than I do. Is that a valid reason to smear an individual for personal, irreleant and not rarely invented reasons?

    Years ago, I used to ask Sune what it is about anthroposophy that is so dear to him, what is making him feel so strongly about it. But his entire presence online seems directed towards one goal: fight the enemy. Bring the enemy down. At any cost.

    Needless to say, I don’t believe this is a fruitful approach.

    Sure, we can’t like everybody. Sometimes one has to accept that the disagreements or even plain personal animosity is to great for any interaction to be useful. That is allright. But lots of what Sune has been doing is not allright.

  47. “Bring the enemy down. At any cost.”
    I don’t think he has ever stopped to consider the cost. If he had, he would have realized the harm he has been doing to his beloved Waldorf movement. Let’s say, because of his insensitive statement about you, Waldorf critics started posting stories about all the famous Waldorf grads who have sought therapy. Saying critics require therapy doesn’t mean anything to a prospective Waldorf parent. But if this turned into a discussion about Waldorf students who have required therapy, who would he be helping in the long run? Do you think famous Waldorf grads would appreciate such discussions? He really doesn’t care who he harms with his agenda.

    Hey Sune, my daughter also required therapy both during and after her torment at Waldorf. My blog lists lots of kids whose parents took them to therapy after Waldorf. I wouldn’t be bragging about that if I were you.

  48. ‘But considering the sometimes rather shameful attacks’

    Where?

    Seek public money, face public scrutiny. There’s no way round it.

  49. Well, even without public money, although that makes public scrutiny even more important. But I do think that when you run schools, you have to accept that students, parents and others aren’t always as happy about it as you hope they’ll be or even think they’re obliged to be. And there’s no use hoping to avoid discussion about the beliefs and methods applied to the education. I don’t know if I’m the source of ‘shameful attacks’, but even if I were, I do not see a place for insidious comments like Sune’s.

    I know I’ve been critical of Bo Dahlin’s work and some of the interpretations he makes of the results of this work. However, I do not think I have ever claimed something along the lines of: ‘Bo Dahlin is wrong about waldorf education because he’s mentally unstable’. Not only do I not know anything about that, but, more importantly, his mental state should not make any difference to our reading of the research results he has produced.

    I’ve been quite annoyed with critics who go around the internet posting comments that Steiner was mentally ill. As if this would automatically invalidate him or his work. Mind you, I don’t think it’s wrong to say Steiner was wrong, and I’m not adverse to discuss his mind (I find it a very interesting topic=, but he wasn’t wrong about the surface of Mars because he was supposedly — according to some people — mentally ill. He was wrong because what he taught does not match the facts (which we know have). It’s very interesting what made him believe and teach all those things. But a person can be stark, raving mad — which I don’t think Steiner was, for what it’s worth, and nor what I am — and still be right. And someone can be completely sane and also completely mistaken.

    And then there are people who believe they’re the epitome of sanity…

    And, yes, Pete, I bet some of all these celebrities Sune hail as models of waldorf perfection are at least as psychiatrically compromised as me — in many cases, probably much worse. Although I can’t claim to know anything about Kenneth Chenault ;-) And you’re right — there’s no shortage of people who have had to deal with their negative experiences in waldorf and sometimes through therapy. This isn’t even very strange, and, to state the blatantly obvious, this need can arise after bad experiences elsewhere too. It should not be used to denigrate the person.

  50. Alicia – did I miss Sune asking twitlonger (ironic) to delete the tweet?

    He has also resurrected his other persona, @The3bee

    It’s a tactic of his to change name mid-thread (or in this case after making a particularly nasty remark) in the hope that an imaginary audience is thrown off the scent.

  51. Yes, he did ask (I think he said so, on the thread, but in Swedish). I think it’s been removed, but it took a while.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think — nay, I’m sure — that this is no acknowledgment from his side that he went too far. But this is certainly not the only time, and he never regretted or apologized for anything.

    Yes, it’s probably better for him to tweet as @the3bee for now. He’s also tweeting as @waldorfanswers, of course. I just learnt that: ‘Brother of former #Steiner #Waldorf pupil nominated for new Secretary of State by Obama – foxnews.com/politics/2012/… ‘ *Brother of*!! Well, I hope none of the brothers are ‘repeated former psychiatric patients’.

  52. […] Perhaps now that the Steiner Waldorf School Fellowship, too, has become more active on the internet and in social media, it will be possible to get a reaction to the old threat made by Sune Nordwall in the organisation’s name. In a recent thread, which resurrected an old and dreadful topic, Melanie wrote: […]

  53. @ Bo Dahlin
    Thanks for the answer! It helps showing that not all people associated with the waldorf movement support the hurtful actions of Sune. Who by the way shows no signs of real insight in what he is doing. I’ll return to that next week in the (mostly) swedish thread about this issue.

  54. At the moment, he shows no public signs even of being alive, let alone having any insights. As expected.

    I wonder, still, what kind of ‘shameful attacks’ on anthroposophy could possibly justify those tactics to be used, in my case or other cases. And, no matter how ‘shameful’ the attacks are, does it even work to approach them in that manner…

  55. […] bekant? Javisst, det är han som följt Sveriges meste Waldorfkritiker Zzzooey (Alicia Hamberg) med obehagliga kommentarer. Högtravande tal om andlighet, låga metoder. Lite som skolorna själva, som försöker gömma […]

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