making understandable

Those who follow Sune Nordwall’s activities on Twitter (@the3bee, @mycroftii, @waldorfanswers) may have noticed he’s (again) trying to understand me and claims to make me ‘understandable’ to his audience, failing spectacularly as usual. I don’t know why he thinks he’s the right person to attempt this — he is, after all, the one who repeatedly claims I’m confusing and so forth. I am impossible to understand, apparently. Even if this were true, I would advise against taking Sune’s perspective as explanations having anything at all to do with me. Honestly, I don’t read his webpages about me anymore; I don’t want to. I know I should do it and that there’s probably things that I should be more aware of than I am, but I fear I cannot stand what’s there, so I avoid it. One day I will, but not today. History tells me they have never had anything to do with me; they’re made up from insinuations, irrelevant junk, speculation, and similar stuff of no value whatsoever.

Maybe Sune ought to spend some time trying to understand himself. He sure as hell cannot understand anyone else. Since he always writes junk about others, I gather he must understand himself as little as he understands others. (Or maybe this is just typical behaviour for anthroposophists? Focus on the perceived deficits of others, never on explaining your own position.) But, more importantly, he should make himself understandable to his own audience — at least in some rudimentary manner. For a start, he could be open about the fact he works for a waldorf school organization. That’s just the basics.

The only person Sune should strive to make understandable is — himself. Not me, not Thetis, not Cathy, not anybody else.

I wish to set a few things straight though. This is what he tweeted the other day:

It’s just not fair, because I’m sure he knows this is plain wrong. Which means he’s lying deliberately. Not the first time. I told Sune I’d rather have tea with Ahriman — not Satan, nota bene! — and I told him so for very good reasons. These reasons didn’t have much to do with Peter S, I’m afraid; and, on this particular occasion, they had everything to do with how I was treated by, e g, Sune on his website and elsewhere. This happened after he had set up a page about me; not Peter, not anybody else. Besides, I frankly cannot grasp how an anthroposophist would confuse Ahriman with Satan, thus I assume he’s deliberately attempting to mislead people again, though I suppose this Satan stuff won’t shock anyone but the most fervent christian. But I don’t see why I would talk about having tea with Satan, since I’ve never been a christian. (Honestly, Ahriman and Lucifer are a lot more entertaining.) With evil spirits such as cats, however, mr Dog and I don’t have tea.

In any case, this whole tea episode is incomprehensible to anyone unfamiliar with the background. I didn’t bring it up in the first place. It was Sune who did, on a Swedish web forum. I don’t remember what the discussion was about anymore; I assume it’s possible that Sune was posting his usual crap about Peter S, but I don’t know. During the course of this thread, Sune wrote something about asking me to have tea. It was all for the sake of appearances, as far as I can tell, and decidedly not sincerely meant. That’s the reason he chose to suggest tea publically, he wanted people to think he was trying his best and was understanding and I don’t know what. (I happen to know he managed to creep a few people out…) In the context, it was bizarre. Later, when I got really angry and wrote that post (and, as I said, this had to do with how I had been treated), I said I’d rather have tea with Ahriman than with him. Believe me, this was a much milder ‘insult’ (if it can even be called an insult, I doubt it) than he deserved, and I also said worse things in the same post. Anthroposophically speaking, humans don’t invite Ahriman for tea anyway. He’s not someone you can decide to have around; Ahriman and the other beings and forces are around us whether we like it or not. As for Ahriman, this applies in particular if the tea is brewed in an electric tea-pot. (Of course!)

What I never said, though, is that I would rather have tea with Satan. I have to admit he seems like a funnier chap than anyone in the holier-than-thou crowd, but that’s basically all there is to my relationship with Satan (in whom I don’t believe and rarely talk about).

I’m not really that impossible or that incomprehensible. Fake compassion and pathetic pretense don’t appeal to me, though. Moreover, when the performance — the fakery — is as bad as Sune’s, one can only hope it fools nobody except a few like-minded fanatics. Maybe you should ask Ahriman to explain me, Sune, he knows me.

45 thoughts on “making understandable

  1. Exactly! I rarely drink tea. Every morning I drink coffee with Ahriman though. And mr Dog chews chew-bones, to prevent him from chewing on Ahriman. He’s so chewy the old chap.

  2. Zo,

    I’m intrigued by the way he does tie you to Peter. It’s very clear that his big problem with you is that you do not see Peter as Ahriman’s agent. (You would have tea with Peter but that’s as good as tea with Ahriman)

    I glean this because I am by now an intermediate level expert dilettante in “Sune Syntax.” I notice that he imputes your motivation not to have tea with him to your petulance over the fact that he “exposed Staudenmaier as an intellectual con artist.” But his link is to his PS page which was written in 2004 or before, which is long before the tea party with you came up.

    Therefore, applying “Sune Syntax” here, his use of the second “after” as a subordinating conjunction is not meant to be temporal but rather causal, to wit: meaning “since” or “because.”

    However, the first “after” when he writes “only after” is definitely meant to be temporal since you made the “tea with Ahriman” comment two and a half years ago, and only after that did he create those websites about you.

    (I also corrected his “told” to “said”) So let us read it now as:

    I have described you to make you understandable, but only after you said you’d rather have tea with the devil than with me, because I exposed Staudenmaier as a intellectual con artist.

    I think the ambiguity comes from the distinction made in German — and I surmise Swedish — between “after” as a preposition and “after” as a subordinating conjunction. The problem for German natives learning English is that “after” and “before” can be both prepositions and conjunctions, whereas in German there is a definite distinction made so there’s no ambiguity. And it’s the ambiguities in English that drive foreign students crazy!

    nach = after as preposition
    nachdem = after as conjunction

    vor = before as preposition
    bevor = before as conjunction

  3. at what point did Sune expose Peter as an ‘intellectual con artist’? In reality, that is, not just by saying he was?

    Christopher Hitchens exposed Mother Teresa as a spiritual con-artist, but he wrote a book and made a film. These were widely consumed. Hitchens didn’t just write a few sentences in badly-constructed Swedish and post them on an obscure website full of ludicrous claims about homeopathy and science, after which, finding his way onto twitter and collecting 22 followers (some of whom must be pornbots) he posts all day into an immeasurable void. No. Only an idiot would do such a thing.

  4. I’ve worked with Sune on the “told” vs. “said” thing in English, too, but he is a slow learner. I might even suspect that sclerosis has set in, intellectually. He can’t change what he does. *That* has got to be pretty bad karma.

    Also, I always enjoy what a bad ear anthroposophists have for current resonances. Talking about “tea parties” isn’t gonna play well in the US with the folks he thinks he’s talking to.

  5. Fixed it, Diana!

    Haven’t read the comments yet, but am popping in to say I wrote a post in Swedish:

    Mainly because I fear that writing in English about this won’t make it obvious that the Swedish waldorf school federation has a responsibility in this.

    I think, however, that the post will go through google translate without too much fuss, and become ‘understandable’ in English. (Though you never know.)

  6. I can tell you one interesting thing about Sune’s writing though. A while ago, I had the chance to look in old anthro magazines (Swedish). There were several of his articles (he used to do the layout of the magazine too); I didn’t have the time, so unfortunately I couldn’t read them all, but I read one and glanced superficially on a few. All of them were more than 30 years old, I think. Anyway, and this is what amazed me, they did not suffer from the problems Sune’s language suffers today. They were readable. Not that you couldn’t recognize him, you could. But, oh Dog, how it has deteriorated. I would say that if he could get back to the style he had then, he would (perhaps) manage to make himself ‘understandable’…

    It’s conceivable there was an editor who fixed his texts, of course.

  7. >he used to do the layout of the magazine too

    Are these online somewhere? I’d be really interested to see his design sense.

    If he used to write well and deteriorated, I feel bad for making fun of him. But it’s unlikely. I suspect you’re right that an editor rewrote his stuff. With study and effort, people can improve their writing, but barring some extreme event like brain injury or dementia, deteriorating greatly would be unusual. For most people, the way they write by about 10th grade is the way they are always going to write.

  8. Thetis: ‘at what point did Sune expose Peter as an ‘intellectual con artist’? In reality, that is, not just by saying he was?’

    Never as far as I can tell. He simply keeps asserting that Peter is an intellectual con artist. I’m not sure I understand what an intellectual con artist is.

    Diana & Tom: I don’t think Sune himself mentioned a tea party. I don’t remember exactly anymore, but I think he talked about an establishment which has ‘tea’ in its name. (Tea House or something. I don’t know now, though.) Supposedly you can have tea there, or any other kind of drink.

    Tom: ‘Therefore, applying “Sune Syntax” here, his use of the second “after” as a subordinating conjunction is not meant to be temporal but rather causal, to wit: meaning “since” or “because.”’

    I read it as implying a causal relationship, but that’s what didn’t make sense; what he had written about Peter didn’t stand in a causal connection with me telling him I’d rather have tea with Ahriman. Perhaps he doesn’t understand this and believes erroneously that what he had written about Peter constituted some kind of ultimate cause in this. Still, he should be able to identify the immediate cause, and also easily determine it hadn’t got anything to do with Peter.

    ‘However, the first “after” when he writes “only after” is definitely meant to be temporal since you made the “tea with Ahriman” comment two and a half years ago, and only after that did he create those websites about you.’

    I’m not sure if he believes this, but from what I can tell, this is wrong. He created the website (the blog page) about me before I said this about Ahriman. He has later edited this page to include what I said about tea with Ahriman. The first version of that page did not have that statement. There are lots of other changes as well.

    As for the language stuff, it’s a bit complicated.

    We have, in Swedish:

    efter (after) – preposition, conjunction or adverb

    före (before) – preposition or adverb

    innan (before) – preposition, conjunction or adverb

    The difference between ‘före’ and ‘innan’ often causes confusion… and as you can see, a differentiation similar to the German doesn’t exist, though ‘före’ cannot be used as a conjunction. Lots of people use ‘före’ and ‘innan’ interchangeably in most contexts though, whether right or wrong. As to ‘because’, there’s ‘därför att’ and ‘eftersom’ (in the latter expression you have ‘efter’. It’s difficult to see how this could contribute to confusion in translation though.

    These small words, prepositions and so forth, are notoriously difficult in Swedish. To tell you the truth, I often find myself trying to guess what’s right, and I often have to go back and correct myself. To make matters worse, there are dialectal differences too! For example between the Swedish spoken in Sweden — in Stockholm — and the Swedish that was spoken by my maternal relatives.

  9. ‘Are these online somewhere? I’d be really interested to see his design sense.’

    No, sadly. The Anthroposophical Society has a website without any content whatsoever (though they manage to call Peter S a forger, probably on Sune’s recommendation), and they publish NO articles from their journals, neither new or old.

    I would be happy to buy old magazines, but at most you find them sold one by one, not entire years, which I’d prefer.

    The design isn’t riveting, they’re rather anonymous, small brochures. I can’t tell if he did any of it, or if he took over the task of doing layout from someone else who had made a template, which was then used.

    ‘If he used to write well and deteriorated, I feel bad for making fun of him.’

    Well, perhaps. Personally I sort of feel that making fun of him is the only way out. How else would one deal with someone who treats people the way Sune treats people?

  10. Diana,

    Your exclamation of “Ack!” is of course the exclamation made by “Cathy” in the cartoon strip “Cathy,” which recently completed its run of 34 years.

    You can see her very first comic strip here

    Did you know that Cathy Guisewite was a parent at Highland Hall? I would occasionally see her when she was picking up her daughter at school but I never got to ask her if Cathy’s 4 Basic Guilt Groups: (Food, Love, Mom, Work) were correlated with Rudolf Steiner’s 4 Temperaments.

    Anyway, she’s one celebrity Waldorf parent that Sune missed!

    Ack, Sune, Ack! Get her on the list!

  11. There’s so dang many umlauts … I don’t really know what Swedish sounds like, but (sorry to say so) I’ve never liked how Swedish looks in print. No offense! :)

  12. “Cathy’s 4 Basic Guilt Groups: (Food, Love, Mom, Work) were correlated with Rudolf Steiner’s 4 Temperaments”

    That’s funny :) That pretty much sums up my guilt trips … well no she forgot parenting. Hmmm.

  13. ‘I don’t really know what Swedish sounds like, but (sorry to say so) I’ve never liked how Swedish looks in print. No offense! :)’

    Ha! I like how it looks in print. Usually.

    There are lots of videoclips on youtube with spoken Swedish of course. But here’s Swedish from Finland; it’s softer and more… melodic, sort of:

  14. NO NO NO, they are the Moomins!! The Moomin trolls!

    It is very important! VERY! Luckily, there are English Moomon video clips on youtube.

  15. From the Guardian article:
    ‘By the 1950s, the Moomins had taken on their familiar characteristics, with marked resemblances to Jansson’s own family. They are essentially bohemian, taking in their stride the endless string of relatives, visitors and marginal wanderers who drop by to benefit from Moominmamma’s cooking, domestic stability and useful items in her ever-present handbag. Moominpappa, with no visible means of support, alternates between writing his memoirs and sudden whims. In Moominpappa At Sea (1965), he suddenly uproots the whole family because he feels depressed.

    ‘As children’s stories, the Moomin novels are funny, and beautifully drawn with strong narratives. But there is also a deeper resonance for adults. Moominland is strongly evocative of real Nordic landscapes, especially the dense forests and tiny coastal archipelagos. There is also a powerful evocation of life lived close to nature, with the seasonal gathering of foods and feast, and the effect of the seasons on emotions. In Moominland Midwinter (1957), Moomintroll, who cannot hibernate, encounters a cast of characters who take over his house, and among whom he becomes sad and displaced.

    ‘The characters are surprisingly complex and plausible. The central characters, Moomintroll and the Snork Maiden, in spite of shy romantic feelings, are more like siblings, and full of sexual ambiguity.’

    ‘There is also a large cast of marginal characters, such as Snufkin, the charismatic artist, who wanders with the seasons, only occasionally accepting friendship. The appropriately named Creep adores Snufkin, and the Muskrat spends his time philosophising and denouncing domesticity, while happily availing himself of Moominmamma’s hospitality. Little My is an anarchic child.

    ‘Sometimes, Jansson’s characters border on the sinister, like the Hemulens, who are always officials, or the strange Hattifatners, who move in a singleminded, menacing crowd. Novelist Alison Lurie has described the Groke, a dark, mound-shaped creature with staring eyes, as “a kind of walking manifestation of Scandinavian gloom; everything she touches dies, and the ground freezes wherever she sits.”‘

  16. What a horrible realization — people outside Sweden & Finland don’t know enough — or anything at all!! — about Moomin. Now, listen, you need to know about Moomin! Really!

  17. Wow! First off, I want to promote a wrestling match between Moomin Troll and Barney the Dinosaur.

    But then, this reminds me of one of the wildest and craziest anthroposophists around today. He be none other than Jumpin’ Jack Stirling Walker whose nom de net is “geistesforscher” and he is working feverishly to integrate Anthroposophy AND Scientology AND the Moonie cult (Korean Rev. Sun Moon) AND Mormonism. I kid you not.

    See, I though of Jack because Moomin sounds like a composite of Mormon and Moonie!!

    Check out his website. I do believe he might be worthy of an entire blog entry for you.
    The Institute for Hypostatic Science
    A Rosicrucian-Manichean School

    When you enter his website, scroll down to the bottom and click on each of those horizontal buttons. Here are 2 representative samples:

    On Sunday, November 24, 1991, on Twin Peaks in the city of San Francisco, California, in the early hours before and after dawn, John Stirling Walker was asked to take upon himself a task on behalf of Christian Rosenkreuz. At the time he was a member of the movement of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but found himself, almost immediately after this experience, on the way to being evicted from the Moon organization.

    The task he was asked to take on involved the pursuit of relationships with human beings with whom he was to be brought into contact that could further the establishment of true brotherhood on Earth.


    On February 29, 2008, the step was taken to constitute an initiative within the IHS that is to fulfill the intentions living in Rudolf Steiner’s creation of a “Section for the Spiritual Striving of Youth” when he took over the administrative leadership of a newly reconstituted Anthroposophical Society at the Christmas Conference of 1923 at the Goetheanum.

    These intentions were to provide a context culturally and socially within which young people could find what was necessary to discover and to meet their truest destiny. In this time, that “truest destiny” is inevitably connected to what has come to the Earth as a eugenic occultism through the efforts of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, as well as what has begun to lay the foundations for a mechanic occultism through the technologies of L. Ron Hubbard.


    John Stirling Walker is a longtime student of anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy developed by the late nineteenth-century Austrian literary critic Rudolf Steiner. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Hypostatic Science (IHS) —an anthroposophical spin-off—and its related Brotherhood Project. Walker’s philosophy has also been deeply influenced by EnlightenNext founder Andrew Cohen’s teachings of Evolutionary Enlightenment.

    Jack is quite a trip. I first met him online back in 1998. He’s still going strong!

    You can see a photo and video of him here — even listen to and buy an interview with him about Steiner—The-Spiritual-Science-of-Rudolf-Steiner/product_id/5471

  18. If I go in there and am not back by dawn, will you send in a moomin with a torch and sandwiches?

  19. ‘If I go in there and am not back by dawn, will you send in a moomin with a torch and sandwiches?’

    Yes. In preparation, I have called on a whole brigade of moomin. Telepathically.

  20. Judith von Halle was to speak about dementia in Järna in April, but it’s been cancelled. Otherwise we could have encouraged him to fly there and buzz words of bee wisdom in her ears.

  21. Stop … my head will explode. Tom.

    I have heard of moomin, Alicia, but never read these books.

  22. Judith von Halle was to speak about dementia in Järna in April, but it’s been cancelled.

    Why? Did she somehow forget she had to go to Järna ;=))

    I mean, she’s turning 40 next year, a little young for dementia, but on the other hand, healers who write books tend to express the disease they have themselves, even if they don’t yet know about it.

    If that’s the case with Judith, then I hope her community doesn’t stigmatize her for it!! Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

  23. ‘I have heard of moomin, Alicia, but never read these books.’

    They are great. Also for grown-ups. Maybe even more so for grown-ups actually. Moomin is deep. A lot more spiritual than the spiritually pretentious waldorf could ever hope to be.

    ‘Why? Did she somehow forget she had to go to Järna ;=))’

    Possibly! Not eating is usually a bad thing for the brain. And she can’t get more stigmatized, can she? Well, I suppose she could have a complete crucifixion.

  24. Now, why does it seem to me that Sune is only interested in making propaganda — and not one iota in making anything or anyone (least of all himself and his own behaviour) understandable?

  25. I mean really. He’s the one going on about how I’d rather have tea with ‘Satan’. He’s the one claiming to be the good guy — what a nice guy, tea, blah blah. And there I am, evil, saying things like that. Not that he’s giving the people he lies to ANY explanation of what really happened. Why I said anything at all about tea and what preceded me saying it. He doesn’t have a comment on any of this. He doesn’t care about understandability. People who never have honest intentions behind what they write — I find them incomprehensible. And, again, what is it with anthroposophy which — against all the ideals and fine words — seems to make these behaviours ok?


    Big LOL!


    ‘The Moomins are filled with practically with every possible sin you can think from dark magic to sodomy. All of this is fed to children as positive things. You might ask what kind of monster would come up with such a perverted stories for little-ones. … So heed my warning. Stay way from Moomins! They have only been designed to lead children into damnation. If you ever come by ANY Moomin related material, you must burn it immediately, but use gloves before touching Moomin products. So great is the evil behind the Moomins that even short exposure can be harmful to your soul.’

    Now you know that Moomin is really good stuff!

  27. I don’t know. But after reading this:

    ‎’I knew that the eskimos up there in Scandanavia were deep in satan’s pocket, but I had no idea of the array of demons they worshiped.’

    I sure hope so!

  28. There are so many things I’ve missed when reading Moomin. Maybe I’m not a great demon-spotter after all. May be all the spirit-scoffing. I don’t know.

    ‘The Hemulen
    ‘Maybe the most deviant of all creatures in Moomin valley. This seemingly harmless elder chap is truly a libertine and abomination. He lives alone, wears a purple dress, collects butterflies and stamps and like frolicking with younger males of the Moomin valley. This lewd sodomite goes constantly on sex vacations.’

Comments are closed.