antroposofiska sällskapet och ‘historieförfalskaren’

Jag har åtskilliga gånger frågat mig hur waldorfrörelsen — i synnerhet den svenska waldorffederationen — kan stödja Sune Nordwall. Nordwalls handlande mot rörelsens kritiker är beklagligt, och det är bortom min fattningsförmåga att någon självständigt tänkande antroposof kan ställa sig bakom hans verksamhet. (Tydligen är det ont om självständigt tänkande antroposofer.) Nordwall är dessutom känd för sina attacker mot Peter Staudenmaier, den historiker som nyligen avlagt doktorsexamen vid Cornell-universitetet med en avhandling om den antroposofiska rörelsens historia under första hälften av 1900-talet. Alfa-omega påpekade i dag att man fortfarande på Nordwalls hemsida kan finna följande stycke:

Antologin avslutas med ett bidrag med titeln “Antroposofi och ekofascism” av en dokumenterad historieförfalskare vid namn “Peter Staudenmaier”. Artikeln publicerades första gången av föreningen 2001 i dess tidskrift, och den publiceras också sen länge av föreningen på dess internetsajt.

Sune Nordwall fortsätter alltså glatt hävda att Peter S är en historieförfalskare och antyder dessutom att han möjligen har förfalskat sin identitet (eller hur man nu ska tolka citationstecknen).

Waldorfskolefederationen verkar ha så stort förtroende för Nordwall att han till och med anställts för att hålla koll på sådana som mig. (Översättning: fienden. Nordwall är i krig.) Vad anser då det aktningsvärda (?) Antroposofiska Sällskapet om Nordwalls meriter?

En sektion av sällskapets hemsida har titeln ‘Kritik mot antroposofin’, vilket fortsätter med underrubriken ‘Svar på kritik’. Intressantare är att denna sida inte återfinns genom menyerna på sällskapets hemsida. Den ligger visserligen under menyn ‘Antroposofi’ — ‘Antroposofisk litteratur’, men nås inte genom den menyn via hemsidan. Däremot får man upp den som träff om man googlar ‘antroposofi +kritik’, exempelvis. Man kan spekulera i anledningen till detta. Är det att man inte vill att medlemmar och hemsidebesökare, som är vänligt inställda till antroposofin, ska råka på detta avsnitt av en slump — och råka få veta att där faktiskt existerar kritik mot antroposofin? Nu länkar ju inte sällskapet till kritiken i fråga. Men de nämner den, och vem som helst som inte är bakom flötet kan ju söka upp den. Så är det så att man inte vill att människor ska råka över denna information i onödan? Samtidigt som man vill ge den till dem som redan vet att där finns kritik, och googlar på lämpliga sökord för att finna den?

Det är kanske mindre viktigt, även om det enligt min uppfattning också säger något om rörelsen. Det anmärkningsvärda i sammanhanget är att det Antroposofiska Sällskapet på denna sida använder sig av Sune Nordwalls ‘information’ och länkar till hans hemsida. Dessutom betecknar även det Antroposofiska Sällskapet självt Peter Staudenmaier som en ‘historieförfalskare’. Här är en screenshot:

Den sista av referenserna avser Peter Staudenmaier och hans arbete.

Min fråga är — hur kan det Antroposofiska Sällskapet på sin hemsida beskriva en numer disputerad forskare som ‘historieförfalskare’? Jag förmodar att Antroposofiska Sällskapet har belägg för att Peter Staudenmaier är en historieförfalskare, och att de självständigt och med stor noggrannhet utvärderat dessa belägg — annars verkar det aningen djärvt att alls publicera sådana allvarliga anklagelser. Fast problemet är, misstänker jag, att de läst Sune Nordwalls redogörelser för detta. Och att de tagit honom på orden. De kanske tror att han vet vad han talar om. (De tycker ju uppenbarligen att Nordwalls framställning av vetenskapen är vettig — och det tyder väl tyvärr på en skriande brist på kunskaper och rationellt tänkande.)

Nu är det så att Nordwall inte — med emfas inte — vet vad han talar om. Jag rekommenderar att sällskapet skriver om sin sida ‘Kritik mot antroposofin’ och att de gör jobbet ordentligt samt att de avlägsnar epitet som ‘historieförfalskare’ och anklagelser om ‘historieförfalskning’, åtminstone så länge de inte har lyckats skramla fram ordentliga argument som visar att dessa ordval är med verkligheten överensstämmande.

Och så tycker jag att Antroposofiska Sällskapets ledamöter (och medlemmar!) ska läsa Peter Staudenmaiers avhandling — vidare information här — i stället för att lyssna på Sune Nordwall, mannen som fastnat såsom i klister i sitt alldeles egna, råddiga fantasiliv.

34 thoughts on “antroposofiska sällskapet och ‘historieförfalskaren’

  1. Here’s the letter I sent to 4 people listed on the the Swedish Waldorf Federation website, including Herr Fant. I sent it August 15, and have, as you might expect, received no response beyond the automated acknowledgment of receipt.

    —————–
    Dear _________,

    I trust that you will easily translate my message into Swedish.

    My name is Tom Mellett. I am an American anthroposophist of 34 years and a retired Waldorf high school special subject teacher in the USA, now living in Los Angeles.

    I am writing to inform you of a situation that has developed which has already caused some harm to the reputation of the Swedish Waldorf Federation, but now threatens to expose you to possible litigation because of malicious, slanderous and possibly libelous statements made by one of your employees against Dr. Peter Staudenmaier, PhD, an assistant professor of history at the University of Montana in the city of Missoula, MT in the USA.

    I understand that you employ Sune Nordwall on a on a half-time basis, so that he may monitor the Internet for articles and statements about Waldorf education which keep you informed. All well and good. But unfortunately for the reputation of your organization, Sune Nordwall spends much of his free time on the Internet engaged, not only in an obsessive personal vendetta against Dr. Staudenmaier, but he also engages in what may be termed “cyber-bullying” and “cyber-stalking,” especially directed against women, and most vindictively, against Waldorf mothers who write of their negative Waldorf experiences on the Internet blogs.

    I can provide many examples of his stalking and bullying Waldorf mothers in another message, but for now, I believe your most pressing concern is the issue of Sune Nordwall’s slander against Prof. Dr. Staudenmaier.

    To document some of these allegations, I list below 3 short examples of Sune Nordwall’s statements clearly defaming Dr. Staudenmaier and denigrating his reputation by accusing Dr. Staudenmaier of engaging in deliberate scholarly deceit, even forgery of written documentation, quite a grave allegation against an assistant professor at a state university.

    I quote the following statement from Sune Nordwall’s own website:
    http://www.thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html

    “Had Staudenmaier been the “scholar” he likes to picture himself as, he probably would have been kicked out of University for his forgery and stories.”

    I now quote 2 recent Tweet messages by Sune Nordwall:
    ———————-
    “Peter Staudenmaier’s art of ‘describing’ history as master demagogue?”
    ———————-
    “More on Peter Staudenmaier as master intellectual con artist.”
    —————————-

    Mr. Nordwall claims that he is engaged in these Internet activities on his own time and not as a representative of your organization. That may be true on an abstract level; however, it is clear that in our present Internet world of social connectivity, that everything Mr. Nordwall writes online gives the impression that the Swedish Waldorf Federation tacitly approves of his behavior.

    The question is thus for you and your organization to answer: do you or do you not support the Internet activities of Sune Nordwall as your employee?

    Sincerely yours,

    Tom Mellett
    Los Angeles, California, USA

  2. And to prevent them from hiding behind a foreign language barrier, here is a copy of the above letter in Swedish, which I sent on August 18.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Mitt namn är Tom Mellett. Jag är en amerikansk antroposof sedan 34 år tillbaka och pensionerad ämneslärare vid en waldorfgymnasieskola här i USA. Jag är nu bosatt i Los Angeles.

    Jag skriver för att informera er om den den uppkomna situation, som redan orsakat skador på den svenska Waldorffederationens anseende, men som nu också riskerar göra er sårbar för eventuella rättsprocesser till följd av de uppsåtliga, ärekränkande och potentiellt förtalsgrundanden uttalanden som gjorts av en av era anställda och riktat sig mot Peter Staudenmaier, fil.dr., biträdande professor i historia vid Montana-universitetet i Missoula, Montana, USA.

    Jag har intrycket att ni anställt Sune Nordwall på en halvtidstjänst, som innebär att han övervakar internet i fråga om artiklar och uttalanden om waldorfpedagogik och håller er informerade. Allt i sin ordning så långt. Men beklagligt nog, för organisationens anseende, ägnar Sune Nordwall stora delar av sin fritid inte enbart åt en tvångsmässig personlig vendetta mot Dr. Staudenmaier, utan han hänger sig också åt vad man kan beteckna som ”cyber-mobbing” och ”cyber-stalking”, främst riktad mot kvinnor och, med störst oförsonlighet, mot waldorfmammor som skriver om sina negativa waldorferfarenheter på bloggar.

    Jag kan ge många exempel på hans förföljelse och trakasserier av waldorfmammor i ett annat brev, men för tillfället tror jag att ert mest påtagliga bekymmer är frågan om Sune Nordwalls smutskastning av dr. Staudenmaier.

    För att dokumentera några av dessa anklagelser, listar jag nedan 3 korta exempel på sådana uttalanden som Sune Nordwall gjort och som är tydligt ärekränande mot dr. Staudenmaier och som är ägnade att skapa missaktning, genom anklagelsen att dr. Staudenmaier skulle vara iblandad i uppsåtliga, akademiska oegentligheter, till och med förfalskning av skriftlig dokumentation, något som är en allvarlig anklagelse mot en biträdande professor vid ett statligt universitet.

    Jag citerar följande uttalande från Sune Nordwalls egen hemsida:
    http://www.thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html

    ”Hade Staudenmaier varit den ’forskare’ han gillar att måla upp bilden av sig själv som, hade han troligen blivit utslängd från universitetet på grund av sitt bedrägeri och sina sagor.”

    Jag citerar nu 2 nyliga Twitter-meddelanden skrivna av Sune Nordwall:

    ”Peter Staudenmaiers sätt att ’beskriva’ historia såsom en mästardemagog?’

    ”Mer om Peter Staudenmaier som mästerlig, intellektuell bedragare.”

    Herr Nordwall hävdar att han ägnar sig åt dessa internetaktiviteter under sin fritid och inte såsom en representant för er organisation. Det må vara sant på en abstrakt nivå; likväl står det klart att det, i vår nutida internetkultur med dess sociala nätverk, skapas intrycket att allting Herr Nordwall skriver online äger den svenska Waldorffederationens underförstådda godkännande.

    Frågan till er och organisationen är sålunda: stödjer ni eller stödjer ni inte de aktiviteter som er anställde Sune Nordwall ägnar sig på på internet?

    Med vänliga hälsningar,

    Tom Mellett
    Los Angeles, Kalifornien, USA.

  3. Thanks Tom! Unfortunately, the waldorf federation seems to be asleep still. It may take 5 years before they react. Possibly longer, since this is such a delicate question. (Especially as presented by Sune. That’s a whole gigantic beehive of lunacy.)

    Anyway, I recently discovered — which is outlined in the post above — that the Anthroposophical Society of Sweden calls Peter S a forger on their website. More exactly, they claim he’s forged (a) historical document(s) and that he his a forger of history, and they impose guilt on the Swedish Skeptics association for defending the forgery and the forger.

  4. Wow, Zooey, can you give me that link? And a translation if it’s short? I am preparing to contact the history department at the University of Montana to warn them about Sune and to tell them about their counterparts at Cornell where Sune harassed the history department there.

    There is one fundamental difference between Cornell and U of Montana that goes right to the heart of dealing with legal issues like libel. Cornell is a private institution, but the University of Montana is a state-government entity. The government institution will have far more will and resources to bring to bear on such issues than a private institution.

    Also Peter S. is now a employee of that University. That means he is a state government employee. So let the Swedish Waldorf Federation and the Anthroposophical Society be forewarned.

    Don’t mess with Montana!

  5. Here’s the link: http://www.antroposofi.nu/antroposofi/antroposofisk_litteratur/kritik_mot_antroposofin/

    The screenshot in my post includes this:

    ‘”ANTROPOSOFI OCH EKOFASCISM”?
    – Föreningen Vetenskap och Folkbildnings publicering och försvar av en historieförfalskning och en historieförfalskare’

    Translation:

    ‘”Anthroposophy and Eco-fascism”*?
    – The Association Vetenskap och Folkbildning’s [the Swedish Skeptics**] publication and defence of a historical forgery and a forger of history’

    * The link is to http://www.thebee.se/pseudovetenskap/
    **http://www.vof.se/visa-english

  6. Actually, I realize it doesn’t say ‘forgery of document(s)‘ but in this case, it being about history, that’s all it could possibly imply. You forge something, but obviously, in other circumstances it could be coins or trademarks or something else.

  7. Thanks, Zooey. I see the set up. The Society just has a link which takes you to Sune’s webpage in Swedish. Now here’s the same page in English.
    http://www.thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html

    Could you compare the 2 versions (I mean just the relevant forgery and libel parts not the whole article!) and see what differences there are? I know when I write something in German and then come back to it weeks later, I sometimes have difficulty figuring out what I meant in English, so I would imagine that there are some differences between the Swedish and the English.

  8. Yep, I will compare them. I think I have saved these sites a couple of weeks ago, in case he has been making changes to them lately, so I will look at that too. Basically, though, Sune just regurgitates the same crap all over the place in both languages, he’s pretty predictable that way.

  9. Surely Montana will just think Sune is ridiculous.

    But, though I think litigation should be reserved for only the worst cases, where an unwarranted attack on reputation is likely to cause significant loss of standing/employment, it is a serious matter when an academic is accused of deliberate forgery by any organisation (in this case the Anthroposophical Society of Sweden). If this is the case, they would be well advised to remove any unsubstantiated accusations against Dr. Staudenmaier from their public sites and literature.

    Otherwise I think the damage Sune does personally is largely to his own reputation and to that of his beloved Movement. I simply can’t understand why this is tolerated – he seems to have carte blanche to swing his wrecking ball right up to the walls of the Goetheanum.

    Meanwhile, it’s absolutely right imo that zooey et al take him to task here.

  10. Tom – but let us know how Montana responds. I expect Thebee has got their first, since long ;)

  11. Tom — I looked at them and they are two different articles. However, the lies about Peter are the same — possibly even worse, more extensive, in the Swedish version. Maybe Sune thinks that nobody is reading the Swedish version, except people who believe in him. It’s brimful of rubbish. Reading the Swedish version, it becomes even more apparent that they Anthroposophical Society must do something about this.

    Thetis

    ‘But, though I think litigation should be reserved for only the worst cases, where an unwarranted attack on reputation is likely to cause significant loss of standing/employment, it is a serious matter when an academic is accused of deliberate forgery by any organisation (in this case the Anthroposophical Society of Sweden).’

    I completely agree with you. And, as far as I can tell, Peter doesn’t seem bothered about it all — which is probably wise. But of course it also means the Anthroposophical Society and Sune can carry on their defamation of him with impunity.

    This, I think, is more about telling the Anthroposophical Society that they’re very mistaken and that they’re embarrassing themselves. It’s not a good idea to rely on Sune Nordwall for news about what happens in the world of waldorf/steiner/anthroposophy. It may make you look like an idiot in the end.

  12. Thetis — Sune is everywhere since long, probably even in the inboxes of Montana uni. Remember, it’s his job since not that long but long enough…

  13. Zooey,

    To build the case for the history department at the University, I will need the original version of the libelous statements in Swedish along with as accurate an English translation as possible. Then I can put those up against Sune’s English version.
    So there needs to be 3 sections:
    [1] The original Swedish
    [2] The translation of [1]
    [3] The English version

  14. I don’t think there is an English version of exactly that text — it was written in response to the Swedish Skeptics’ publication of Peter’s article. Certain passages are, no doubt, just re-runs.

    I’m going to take a second look at the Swedish site that the Anthroposophical Society links to.

    It is my opinion, though, that if the Anthroposophical Society chooses to continue to make themselves look like idiots, they can do so. Their website is hosted in Sweden. Peter doesn’t want a legal case — as far as I know, because if he wanted it, he could have had it years ago. It’s what Peter wants that matters, not what the Uni wants.

    I agree that people — incl perhaps the uni — should know this is happening, that anthroposophists actually call someone a forger and even worse things — but one can’t go after every moron hitting them with the law book.

  15. Zooey,

    Peter’s wishes in the matter are no longer relevant because he is an employee of a state institution now. It is the reputation of the University of Montana History Dept that is under attack because they hired Peter!

  16. But yes, his wishes are relevant — at least assuming the website is hosted in Sweden and the people to go after are people who live in Sweden. And at least if what we’re talking about is holding people liable according to criminal law, which would be an important, though not necessary, step towards being able to claim damages. And even if we’re talking about something else, I have much difficulty seeing there could be any consequences worth taking seriously for the Anthroposophical Society. (Except the shame.) Threats can always work, but only if people are fooled by them.

  17. well, the Swedish Anthroposophical Society could accuse the University of Montana of being in some way an accessory to forgery (I’m making this up as I go along…)

    If Peter Staudenmaier writes a book based on his thesis the situation could change. He has every right to defend his reputation: if the whole situation became a publishing cause célèbre (rather than a couple of anthros ranting in the internet equivalent of a cellar) he might need to do so. But litigation is a clumsy and time-consuming business – being meticulous & honest (and peer reviewed) might have to be enough.

  18. Well, yes, now that would be funny. Sune & Percy going after the Uni of Montana on behalf of the loony-bin society which holds the belief there is an actual forgery.

    Even as it is, of course Peter S would be entitled to defending his reputation — the issue is fairly clear-cut and it doesn’t seem unlikely to me that he’d have a pretty good chance of success. (Actually, very likely he would.) But why on earth would he want to spend time on that? Unless, as Thetis points out, it was necessary.

    Regardless of this, and in more general terms, I don’t think suing — or threatening to sue — people for being idiots is a good idea. It’s often better and simpler to try to reason (not with utterly unreasonable types but with those in the audience who still have access to some sense of rational faculties) — to counter stupidity with arguments. Just as Peter has done over and over again.

  19. .. imagine the publicity – ‘Sune & Percy going after the Uni of Montana on behalf of the loony-bin society which holds the belief there is an actual forgery.’

  20. No – actually you seem to be saying that while bunnies crave attention (or desire to be chased over hill & down dale) anthroposophists, as befitting an esoteric society, wish only for repose and solitude. After all, if an esoteric society raises its head above the parapet of Reason shouting “Oi! You twisted liar since long! Come outside Staudenmaier and say that again!’ It may be abandoning the very obscurity that allows so many … idiosyncrasies.

    You are very wise.

  21. Ehum, well. We, that is, mr D and I, don’t know if that’s what bunnies want — presumably they don’t — we just think that from the perspective of a bunny-hunter, bunnies are never a bad thing. I thought maybe this applied to the Anthroposophical Society in relation to publicity, but then, on the other hand, why would they behave so peculiarly about that section of their website aimed at ‘rebutting’ criticism? (It’s ‘hidden’, i e, you only reach it through google, not the main menus on the site itself. Strange!!) The A S isn’t really a bunny-hunter. It’s more like a deer in front of the headlights, frozen in panic as a car — or a big bad wolf — speeds up to it. Or… I don’t know.

  22. ‘It may be abandoning the very obscurity that allows so many … idiosyncrasies.’

    That is true. And to use the bunny analogy again, if you shout too much, it’s difficult to catch any of the bunnies you’re hunting. It has happened to mr Dog. Bunnies have big ears.

  23. The Anthroposophical Society of Sweden is still claiming Peter Staudenmaier is a forger. Apparently not realizing this makes them look like idiots. Their mistake, like the mistake of the Swedish Waldorf School Federation, is listening to Sune Nordwall in the first place.

    You’d think someone over there would be capable of figuring out what’s going on, but evidently this is not the case.

  24. This morning it occured to me to check if the Anthroposophical Society in Sweden still calls Peter Staudenmaier a forgerer on their website. Turns out, they do. (http://www.antroposofi.nu/antroposofi/antroposofisk_litteratur/kritik_mot_antroposofin/) I wrote about it a year and a half ago, and have even compared with my old screenshots of those passages. I guess nobody cares (least of all Peter S, why would he). Which is fine; it is, after all, crap worth nobody’s attention. But I tell you one thing: it makes the Anthroposophical Society look like utter morons. You’d think they’d want to avoid that, but it appears they don’t.

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