Sunday, 24 October 2010

The usual story - this time from Norway

Vårt Land Oct. 23: Norwegian newspaper Vårt Land runs a series of articles on how Tvind uses collection of used clothes to their own profit.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Humana Austria

An investigation by the Austrian periodical Datum September 2010, shows how Humana Austria like many of its sister organisations only donates very little to charity. 4.700 tons of used clothes were collected in 1.340 boxes in Vienna and surrounding districts in 2009 giving Humana Austria a turnover of 3,5 Million Euro of which only 4,7 % or 166.000 Euro was donated to Humana projects in Africa, says the organisation treasurer, Henning Mørch to Datum. This is less than the 210.000 Euro that was given to the Humana umbrella organisation, the so called 'Federation'. Mørch apparently does not know how much is payed in taxes. No annual reports are published. "A commercial cult" says long time observer Friedrich Griess.

The article documents that used clothes are sold to the commercial branch of Humana Slowakia, run by Helle Christensen, founder and head of Humana Austria. She was not available for an interview. She is in Rumania building the organisation there.

The very well informed British jounalist, Mike Durham, says that there is no doubt that Humana Austria is closely tied to Tvind. The classic Tvind "transfer-pricing-scam" is run here: selling used clothes very cheap to a commercial part of the Tvind organisation, that can gain good profits from selling it at marked prices.

The article also has interesting interviews with some of the local prominent supporters of Humana.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wer ist Amdi Petersen?

De Bergske Blade/Midtjyske Medier July 24: Humana's Berlin branch is being tagged with graffiti warning potential donors with the question "Who Is Amdi Petersen?"

Tvindalert has the pictures.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Important documentary

Watch the TV2 documentary from sep. 2000 that formed the foundation for confiscations (spring 2001) and the court case against leaders in Tvind. It outlines the way Tvind has made money by transferring large sums from teachers salaries, development aid, used clothes sales etc. Several former TG members deliver important testimonials. Unfortunately it is without subtitles.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Case summaries

Rigsrevisionen, May 2010. In a report to the Parliament Public Accounts Committee, the Chief Public Auditor, Henrik Otbo, summarizes a number of law suits and cases between Tvind schools and The Ministry of Education. All the cases were lost by Tvind.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Report from Mexico

San Diego Reader, Feb. 3: An interesting report from the Mexican compound.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Delayed summons accepted by court

Court of Appeals (Vestre landsret) April 14th: The deadline ran out in september 2006 for informing the members of the Tvind leadership that the prosecution wanted to appeal their acquittal. Although the summons could not be served in due time the court now rules that both the accused 'T' and her lawyer were fully aware of the prosecutors wish to appeal the case in 2006. The court finds that 'T'deliberately avoided authorities. She therefore has to appear before the court.

my comment: the verdict is interesting because it contains a rather detailed account of how the prosecutor tried to use Interpol to get hold of 'T' - Marlene Gunst. This is the first time we actually get official confirmation that 'T' actually was on an international wanted list and that Mexican authorities were the source of information that lead to her apprehension in Heathrow, October 2009.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Tvind foundation losing money

April 6th, De bergske blade: The Tvind foundation 'Fælleseje' is losing money due to the fincancial crisis. Its main assets are Danish real estate (mainly Tvind schools) victim of a severe dive in value.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Butterfly McQueen

De Bergske Blade, March 21: The Sailing Yacht Southern Cloud, formerly owned by Tvind under the name Butterfly McQueen, can be chartered in Sidney, Australia.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Frederikshavn

Nordjyske March 20: Complaints from former employees about both bad management and lack of professionalism among other things have lead to the current chaos in the Tvind school Nordlys in Frederikshavn.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tvind 1977

Danmarks Radio: Watch this historic clip from 1977 from the state television archives. Two Tvind students talk about the no-alcohol-politic in Tvind.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Expansion in Grindsted

Jyske Vestkysten March 1st 2010: The Danish administrative headquarter of Tvind on Plagborgvej and Odinsvej in Grindsted is expanding. According to Poul Jørgensen they want to buy the neighbouring house on Odinsvej.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Summer Theatre

Watch the pictures from the Annual Tvind Summer Theatre Festival 2009. One of the Norwegian performers actually looks a little like Amdi Petersen.

Link: http://www.sommerteater-tvind.dk/TextPage.asp?MenuItemID=56&SubMenuItemID=208

Principal leaves

Nordjyske.dk, Jan. 31: Principal Gerda Tranberg and chairwoman of the board Marianne Petersen are leaving the Tvind institution 'Nordlys' in Frederikshavn (formerly known as Nordjyllands Husholdningsskole and Den Maritime Efterskole) after being criticism from authorities. Both Tranberg and Petersen are still afiliated with other Tvind institutions.

Friday, 8 January 2010

2009 News Update

2009, Dec. 29, Jyllands-Posten: Reporting from the used clothes collecting in California by Planet Aid. See also new images from the Mexican Tvind resort at the JP homepage. http://jp.dk/jptv/udland/?id=21348

2009, Dec. 28, Jyllands-Posten: Tvind’s African activities have received large donations (appr. $100 Mill. from the US Department of Agriculture but exhibit classic Tvind traits like lack of accountability and transparency. Judith A. Phillips of USDA promises an investigation.

2009, Dec. 27, Jyllands-Posten: Reacting on a tip from Mexican authorities Marlene Gunst was detained (not arrested as some put it) in transit from Mexico in Heathrow Airport, London, long enough for a fax to arrive from the Danish prosecutor serving her with a summons. Now if she does not appear for the appeal trial an international warrant for her arrest can be issued. (see April 10th and 18th 2007) my comment: The fact that it took a tip from Mexico to apprehend her shows very clearly that there is no warrant for her arrest presently. If there was she wouldn’t be able to take international flights at all.

2009, Dec. 9, The Northern Light (Washington) Tvind donation bins deceive residents. http://www.thenorthernlight.com/news/article.exm/2009-12-

2009, Nov. 20, several media: The Danish Tvind schools have lost a trial that goes back to 1999 when the High Court (Højesteret) overruled a law passed in 1996 that intended to prevent the schools from getting state subsidies. In spite of this overruling the government has refused to give the schools any grants for ten years now. The schools took legal actions against the government, a case they have now lost.

2009, Nov. 16, Tvindalert. Late october Hans la Cour died at the age of 55. Hans la Cour was the author of one of the best accounts of Tvind, "The Traveller" (Den rejsende).

2009, Nov. 16, KiroTV. Millions In Clothing Donations Diverted From Charity.

2009, October 30, New Richmond News. Red boxes, red flag? Donation boxes placed by for-profit business.

2009, July 12, Politiken, A report from Tvind activities in Luanda, Angola, and on the general expansion i Africa. My view: They could have credited Tvindalert for actually running the story one week earlier, see July 5.

2009, July 5, Tvindalert, Tvind is now gaining ground in Congo and the francophone Africa.

2009, June 24. The official report on Danish Security and Intelligence Service (Politiets Efterretningstjeneste or PET) 1945-1989 also includes a chapter on the surveillance of Tvind, mainly in the years 1979-1981. It was commonly known already in the early 80's that Tvind was being watched by the Intelligence Service. The new and very detailed report confirms the suspicion that Tvind had contacts with groups like ZANU, POLISARIO, PFLP, M-19 and was tied to the regimes in Cuba and North Korea. Generally PET did not consider Tvind a major security risk. http://www.petkommissionen.dk/fileadmin/bind/pet_bind9.pdf see pp 343-363

2009, June 9, Follow up on the Fox TV investigation (see May 12th)

2009, May 15, Folketidende, Tvind is collecting used clothes in the town of Nykøbing Falster from a lorry. My comment: other organisations have experienced organised theft from their used clothes containers which is probably why Tvind has switched to collecting directly from individual households.

2009, May 12, Fox TV investigates Tvind/Planet Aid

2009, May 7, Dagbladet Holstebro Struer, The Tvind Fund Fælleseje has to pay back a loan of 22 mill DKr prematurely to the now bankrupt Icelandic Kaupthing Bank.

2009, April 14, DR (Midt & Vest) Local authorities in Jutland still use Tvind for troubled youths. The social services of four municipalities spend more than 1 mill Euro annually on Tvind facilities.

2009, March 19, Berliner Zeitung, Volunteers in Berlin's Tvind second hand shops feel exploited.

2009, March 18, Danmarks Radio Only 12 % of the turnover of the British branch of Planet Aid goes to charity.

2009, March 17, The Beaver, Tvind/Humana/DAPP has been thrown out of the London School of Economics after the discovery of financial irregularities. http://www.thebeaveronline.co.uk/

2009, Feb. 11, (Pressespiegel IFD) A spokesperson for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development now denies that Humana is a partner. (See Feb. 2)

2009, Feb. 11,(Tvindalert) BBC TV airs a critical investigation of Planet Aid in Birmingham.

2009, Feb. 5. Critical reports about the dealings of Humana in Germany continue.

2009. Feb. 2 (Pressespiegel IFD) The German Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) has accepted Humana – People to People as a partner in their volunteer program. This has caused concern among the opposition (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen).

2009, Jan. 20. Poul Jørgensen has been convicted to 2½ years of unsuspended jail.

2009, Jan. 9. Today is Amdi Petersen’s 70th birthday. Tadaa. Still no sign of him in public. A verdict in the continuing court case against Poul Jørgensen is expected later this month.

2008 News Update

2008, Dec., The Tvind School has received the “Europäischer Solarpreis 2008” for its pioneering work with the wind turbine in Ulfborg.
2008, Oct. 23, Randers Amtsavis, A 19 year old student at Tvind has been arrested for arson.
2008, Sep. 11. DR, On the first day of the trial in the court of appeal (Vestre Landsret) only Poul Jørgensen has appeared.
My comment: The prosecution says that they have changed tactics and will put all blame on PJ. That is not tactics. It's pure necessity since they can't find the others. It's somewhat of a fiasco since PJ has been more of an errand boy than an actual leader.

2008, August 22, BBC4, Read transcript of BBC4 program

2008, April 13, Fyn.dk, The veteran ships owned by Tvind are being moved from Nyborg to Faaborg, both on Funen.
2008, Jan. 20, tvindalert: A Tvind alert photographer has taken a picture showing what is most likely Amdi Petersen at the new HQ in Mexico in november 2007.
My comment: Tvindalert writes: "He constantly evades an international arrest warrant." This is actually not very precise. He has been but is not a fugitive. After the acquittal in August 2007 he left Denmark legally. Only after some days the prosecution decided for an appeal. When they tried to serve the summons for Amdi Petersen he was nowhere to be found. In other words: He is not wanted for a crime. According to the Ringkoebing Court he is innocent. He is wanted because the prosecution wants another go at him. Now we ask ourselves: Is there an Interpol Red Flag to his name? He is not on the Interpol list of internationally wanted persons. (Please note that this list represents only a very small proportion of the full list. The prosecutor indicates that she is looking for Amdi Petersen by all means at her disposal - whatever that means.) By the way: If it is Amdi Petersen on the picture he is dying his hair and generally looking younger than a year ago.

2008, Jan 14, tvindalert: The 10 million dollar Tvind mansion on the Pacific in northern Mexico is nearly finished. See link for pictures.

2008, Jan 8, Ritzau, In spite of the 1999 supreme court overruling of the 1996 "Lex Tvind" Tvind schools are still - now on an administrative basis - denied any state funding. A Tvind school in Juelsminde had sued the Ministry of Education but today's appeals court ruling denies the school any compensation for the loss of state funding after 1999.

2007 News Update

2007, Dec. 4, Lemvig Folkeblad: Being unable to serve a summons to Amdi Petersen the Minister of Justice, Lene Espersen, will now introduce a bill that will make it easier for the courts to proceed when people cannot be found. The minister makes no official reference to the Tvind case but off the record the disappearing of Amdi Petersen is named as the reason for the new bill.
2007, Dec. 3, Information: ADPP (local Humana-branch) in Mozambique educates 20 % of all teachers in the country. They learn classic teaching skills at a lower level than teachers graduated from government colleges but the "Tvind"-teachers are mainly known for their ability to involve local communities and to teach about gender and sex.
2007, Nov. 30, Portugalnyt: The Tvind ship "Store Bjørn" ("The Big Bear") has recently visited Cascais in Portugal.
2007, Nov. 7. Kristeligt Dagblad. In a remarkable article two old - and certainly former - friends of Amdi Petersen, Carsten Ringsmose and Ole Hansen, revise the story of Amdi Petersen short carreer as a teacher in the early sixties. Amdi Petersen himself says that he was dismissed as a teacher for his political opinions and his hairdo. They claim that it was because of his "very close and personal relations to the female students".
My comment: In a roman à clef by Ole Hansen "Umagen værd" from 2005, you will find a Amdi Petersen-like character having "close and personal relations" to young girls. Sexual relations to followers is standard modus operandi for a cult leader.

2007, Nov. 8, several media: The Tvind case reopens at Vestre Landsret (first court of appeal) today. Meanwhile there is no trace of Amdi Petersen, and the Minister of Justice is considering a reform that will make it easier to serve a summons. As it is now it has to take place in person which is an obvious archaic mode of operation in a globalized world.
2007, Oct. 9, private blog: a woman tells about a terrible experience with Tvind in Syria 25 years ago.
2007, Aug. 30, De bergske blade, A new trial date is set for the 7th of November.
2007, Aug. 16, Ritzau: Poul Jørgensen's lawyer, Jan Erik Kornerup Jensen, has become ill and the trial is now postponed for a month.
2007, July 7, Dagbladet Holstebro-Struer: The balance sheet shows that the Tvind foundation Fælleseje has made a total profit of 93,5 Mill. DKr. over the past five years, and 37 Mill in 2006 alone.
2007, May 17, TV2 Fyn: The Tvind institution, Nakkebølle, near the town of Faaborg, has opened its doors to the public for one day to enable people to form their own opinion about Tvind.
2007, Apr. 18, Ritzau: The public prosecutor announces that Grethe Flintegaard cannot be considered a member of the Amdi Petersen household. (See Apr. 10) It is not sufficient to share an adress with a person to fall under that category, and Petersen, Larsen Pipps and Gunst still haven't been legally summoned.
2007, Apr. 10, Tvindalert: Mogens Amdi Petersen, Kirsten Larsen, Christie Pipps and Marlene Gunst have now been legally summoned to the the new trial. According to law it is sufficient to hand over the summons to a member of the household and the police managed to summon all four through Grethe Flintegaard with whom they share an adress in the town of Grindsted.
2007, Apr. 4, Fyn.dk (Fyens Stiftstidende). UFF/Humana is struggling to get their used clothes collection boxes back into the town of Svendborg.
2007, Mar. 6, DR: Since Poul Jørgensen is the only one of the six accused in the court appeal who could be located - and since also he has a right to a speedy and fair trial - the case will go on as planned with him alone, says public prosecutor Elsemette Cassøe. His first day in court will be on 22nd of August. Preliminary hearing will be held tomorrow.
2007, Jan. 18, CBS5, follow up on the Dec. 17th story.
2007, Jan. 4, Ritzau: The Landsret (court of appeals) decided that the appeal case against Tvind will begin with a preliminary hearing in March and continue from August with two weekly sessions.

2006 News Update

2006, Dec. 17, CBS5, Bay Area: Brilliant piece on Campus California and The Green Boxes for used clothes collection. Gaia representative admits that it is not a charity organisation.




2006, Dec. 3, Ekstra-Bladet: A Danish tourist has seen Amdi Petersen and Kirsten Larsen in Singapore. He notified the police, but nothing has come out of it.



2006, Nov. 24, DR: The planning of the trial is going on although the prosecution still hasn't been able to reach Amdi Petersen, Larsen, Gunst, Fuglsbjerg and Byrner.



2006, Oct. 29, Politiken: As reported by Tvindalert some months ago the TG has bought a huge estate on the mexican pacific coast just south of the US border, where they are building what is likely to be a new headquarter, designed by Jan Utzon. The Politiken reporter tried to visit the building site but was not allowed access. Several locals accuse Tvind of using illegal methods. Tvind's ownership to the land is disputed.



My comment: A move to Mexico is not very unlikely considering the unstable situation in Zimbabwe, where the current HQ is situated - also designed by Jan Utzon by the way (not to be confused with Jørn Utzon, his father, who designed the Sidney Opera House).



2006, Oct. 23, Jyllands-Posten: Mogens Amdi Petersen, Kirsten Larsen, Marlene Gunst, Kirsten Fuglsbjerg and Sten Byrner are now wanted internationally - not to be arrested but simply to be able to announce to them in person that the verdict has been appealed by a representative of the public prosecutor, typically a policeman. This has not officially been confirmed by the prosecutor, Elsemette Cassøe.



2006, Oct. 2, DR2: In a remarkable interview on national television Simon Lichtenberg told about his role in the TG. He explained that his company, Trayton Group, is growing by appr. 20 % p.a. and an annual turnover of 'several hundred million DKr'. He stressed that the TG does not have a singular agenda or ideology. The TG is about individual projects with separate aims. His own appearance on TV, he said indirectly, was an example of how he has chosen a different approach to the general public than other members of the TG.



My comment: SL now carries so much weight in the TG that this appearance can be interpreted as his suggestions for a new policy for Tvind and his - and perhaps others - wish to take over leadership in the organisation.



2006. Sept. 25, Ritzau: The police have now located Poul Jørgensen and handed him the subpeona. One down, five to go.



2006, Sept. 20, DR, The police are searching for Poul Jørgensen, Mogens Amdi Petersern, Kirsten Larsen, Christie Pipps, Steen Byrner and Marlene Gunst in order to announce in person that a new trial is beginning. Only problem is that they are nowhere to be found. The morning news on DR caught Poul Jørgensen on the phone and he promised that he would be at his office regularly. "The police should know where to find me. They have ransacked my place before." he joked.



2006, Sept. 13, several media: The prosecution has decided for an appeal. The case is being trimmed down to concern things done after 1989, thus excluding Bodil Ross Sørensen and Ruth Sejerø-Olsen from further trial.



2006, August 31, all media: Only Steen Byrner has been convicted. He was sentensed to 1 year suspended jail. Since his confession earlier he was the most probable scape goat. The other 7 walk free. The prosecutor has not yet decided to appeal or not. An abstract of the verdict in Danish is to be found on the court house website. The verdict itself with documentation consists of 4000 pages.



2006, August 27, Jyllands-Posten: A big well-researched article shows that more than 50 schools and institutions in Denmark are run by Tvind with a total annual budget of 150-180 DKr. The paper fails to mention that a similar investigation was made 4 years ago with approximately the same result. Se March 10th 2002



2006, July 6, Fyens Stiftstidende: The Tvind school for troubled youths ' Småskolen Carene Star' based in Skodborgskov, Rødding, south Jutland, is closing. The main acitivity of the school was sailing with an old sailing ship 'Carene Star'. In the summer the ship was leased out for shorter trips with tourists. The town of Faaborg on Funen now regrets that visitors will not be able to take trips with 'Carene Star' this summer.



2006, July 5, DR-online: By rule of the court The Tvind foundation Fælleseje is going to pay 6,1 mill Dkr the costs of a big examination of the three Tvind foundations, Fælleseje, Thomas Brocklebank and Estate. Today Fælleseje has taken over the activities of the two other foundations. Please note: this case is not the same as the big criminal case against the Tvind leadership.



2006 June 30, Jyllands-Posten: Tvindalert.com has won a case against Simon Lichtenberg who wanted the internet provider, TDC, to shut down the website because of its critical view of his affiliation with Tvind. Personal note: congratulations.



2006, june 29, several media: The last of a total of 170 days in court since December 2002 has been held in the case against the Tvind leadership. A verdict is expected on August 31st.



2006, June 23, Berlingske Tidende: Tvind's lawyers claim that authorities years ago were fully aware of the nature of the transactions of the foundation. Their lack of intervention suggests that nothing illegal was done.



2006, June 23, DR Online: OFID - OPEC Fund for International Development - presented on June 13th its first annaual 100.000$ award to HUMANA for its work for the underpriviledged.



2006, May 16, Frederiksværk Ugeblad: The local authorities are moving one step closer to approving the sale of Asserbohus. (see Feb. 8)



2006, April 12, Jyllands-Posten, Final trial hearings and procedures are expected to be held in the first days of May. The judge and the two lay-men judges will probably reach a verdict in August. The written conclusion of the court will include about 4000 pages of documentation.



2006, April 3, De bergske blade: The foundation at trial (see June 27th 2001) now without its Tvind board is still collecting money from former members of the Teachers Group, who obviously complain that the new board are continuing what they were supposed to stop.



2006, February 8, Frederiksborg Amtsavis: The Tvind property owner "Faelleseje" wants to sell one of its schools in Denmark, Asserbohus, to a property developer. The school is worth more than 25 mill DKr. The building has been empty since august 2005.

2005 News Update

2005, August 29, 3F newsletter (formerly SID-newsletter): Tvind plantation Las Italias in Ecuador managed by Bjarne Hjort has improved its relations with the workers union, says local chairman Guillermo Touma. A new and better agreement has been signed and the workers are now fully health insured. Las Italias is the only remaining Tvind plantation in Ecuador. Rio Culebra and Santa Rita were sold in 2002.




2005, August 4, Jyllands-Posten: A letter from the Malaysian government saying that Tvinds activities in the country are indeed protecting the enviroment may very well be a forgery. Mr. Herman Anjin, who is supposed to have written the letter, testified in court that it wasn't his signature on it and that it lacked the letterhead of his office.



2005, June 9, Tvind Alert: The Tvind clothing factory in Casablanca is closing down.



2005, May 25, Ritzau/BT: Now answering questions from his own defence-lawyer Amdi Petersen denies having had the role of a leader or anything like it.



2005, May 18, Ritzau: Amdi Petersen is being questioned by the prosecuters. He denies having had any influence on the foundation other than that of an advisor in spite of 10 witnesses saying the opposite.



2005, April 29, Ritzau: The Tvind foundation 'Faelleseje' is sueing a lawyer on St. Vincent for 10 mill Dkr. Tvind owned the 3300 acres Orange Hill Estate but the St. Vincent and Grenadines government expropriated it in 1993 and payed reparations through the lawyer, Othniel Sylvester, who according to Tvind kept some of the money for himself.



2005, April 7, Ritzau: The court case has past its 100th session out of an estimated total of 160 days in court and has until now cost 30 million Dkr (4½ mill Euro) + 10 mill. Dkr (1½ mill E.) in expences. Defence lawyer Merethe Stagetorn suggests that court procedures are reformed to prevent cases like this to clog the system. If would save a lot of time if you didn't have to read so many documents already known to the parties out loud in court.

2004 News Update

2004, Dec. 30, Børsen: The court case against Amdi and the Tvind Top Seven is far from a conclusion. Originally it was supposed to end about now but since the beginning of the case the estimated total number of days in court has risen to 120. The eight highly profiled - and very well-payed - lawyers are busy people, and planning has become increasingly difficult. Now the judge says that the case in his court will last until april 2006. Whatever the result it will certainly be appealed to Landsretten - the first court of appeals - which usually takes even longer.




2004, Sep. 29, Horsens Folkeblad/Ritzau: A part of the Tvind property "Kysthospitalet" in Juelsminde, east Jutland, has been sold to developers who want to build housing with large expensive flats. Poul Jørgensen says that Tvind doesn't need all that space due to lack of students.



2004, Sep. 23, Jyllands-Posten: The United Nations World Food Programme is no longer cooperating with DAPP in a number of african countries. WFP provided transportation for food aid distributed by DAPP. WFP spokesman Mikael Bjerrum apparently has no complaints about the actual work being done by DAPP. He says rather vaguely that they are "concerned about the structure of their partner".



2004, Sep. 4, Politiken: according to the local newspaper The Herald, the government of Zimbabwe is planning to expropriate some land belonging to Tvind. Nobody - including spokesman Jørgensen - seems to have precise information on the matter. Tvinds headquarter for all activities in southern Africa just outside Harare may be in danger of seizure.



2004, Aug. 29, Jyllands-Posten: Interview with Simon Lichtenberg, who tells about his career and the Trayton Group in China, a company with 1.500 employees manufacturing and marketing furniture in China and Japan. He is a member of the TG but the Trayton Group is his own company. He shares parts of the profits with the TG. The rest is being reinvested in the company. He is not being modest but apparently he also has something to brag about.



2004, Aug. 20, several media: Court is in session again after the summer break. All 8 defendants appeared with a suntan and in a chearful mood. They have probably spent the summer in Zimbabwe.



2004, April 29, several media: Not very surprisingly witnesses like Steen Thomsen confirms the accusations made against Amdi Petersen. He on the other hand felt sick and had to leave court yesterday accompanied by Kirsten Larsen by his side. He has succeeded in giving the public the general impression that he is a weak old man. Steen Byrner and Kirsten Fuglsbjerg were absent with the permission of the court.



2004, March 27, De bergske blade (local papers from around Tvind's headquarters. Trustworthy): Real Madrid football club has donated 1200 pieces of club sportswear to Humana People to People. The gift was presented at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium by vice president Enrique Sánchez and coach Carlos Queiroz, who is himself from Mozambique. 3 years ago the club made a similar donation to HPtP.



2004, March: Press reports from the court sessions are as in February. The case is ecpected to end late 2005. Hans la Cour has that the "global research" project was a scam. It only donated the tax free money to the TG's own projects. (March 10) Birgitte Hector Nielsen - chairwoman of IFAS that gave money to "global research" - on the other hand has testified that everything Tvind does - i.e. the selling of used clothes in Mozambique - is to the benefit of everybody except Tvind. (March 2)



2004, February: Press reports from the court sessions are few and quite trivial: TG-members say they didn't do anything illegal. Former members of the TG on the other hand say that they did. Poul Jørgensen turned 60 on the 27th of this month. He is still referred to as the spokesman of Tvind. In that case he is the most low key spokesman ever, but he is still active as loyal manager in TG-businesses.

2003 News Update

2003, Nov 6, Ritzau: The court ruled today that interrogations of the British accountant (see Aug. 7th) were not carried out in accordance with Danish law of procedure. Police investigations cannot continue during trial. The parties accuse each other of stalling. A sentence can be reduced due to prolongation of the case. In combination with considerations for his age it is likely that Amdi P. has served his time.



2003, Oct. 24, several media: A court session earlier this month was postponed because Amdi Petersen was ill - at least that was what he said. He sufferede from "an allergic reaction" during a stay in Zimbabwe. A handwritten declaration from a doctor in Harare was eventually faxed and accepted by the court as documentation. Reading between the lines the judge is sceptical. My guess is that Tvind is doing what they do best in dealing with authorities: stalling. And Amdi P. is known to be somewhat of a hypocondriac. On Oct. 22 he was back in court, hiding his face in a full beard thus keeping his rash or absence of such from public scrutiny.
2003, Aug. 23, DR: UFF/Humana in Finland risks losing its state funding of 600.000 Euro annually.
2003, Aug. 8: A spectator was arrested in the court room audio taping the trial yesterday. Frede Farmand who - as a witness in the trial himself - is banned from being in the court room during witness interrogations is suspected to be the initiator of the illegal taping.
2003, Aug. 7: Several boxes of documents have been confiscated from the office of the British accontant David Swain who has worked with Tvind companies.
2003, July 15: The brutal killing and possible sexual abuse of a 12 year old girl near Ringsted on the island of Sealand on the 27th of June has drawn a lot of public attention during the past weeks. Yesterday a suspect was finally arrested, a 22 year old man with a history of theft and petty crime in the local area. He has admitted the killing before a judgde today. He returned - according to BT - just a few months ago from a social rehabilitation program on a Tvind ship. I don't expect any journalist to use this angle but you never know.
2003, June 18, Urban/Ritzau: Amdi Petersen recently left the country to fly to London. He is free to travel between court sessions and he has left the country several times.
2003, Apr. 10, Jyllands-Posten: The defence wishes to call 91 witnesses including high ranking officials from ministries and government offices. The defence also suggests that the court should go on fact finding missions to Western Jutland and Brazil. The judge demonstrated a dry sense of humour by saying: "I am disappointed that we don't get to go to Tahiti."

2003, Mar. 14: Frede Farmand's book about Tvind is published. It contains a great amount of documentation about the financial transactions and copies of letters. Several documents seem to come from the public prosecutors office. Mr. Farmands relation to the police and the prosecution is still a mystery.

2003, Mar. 10, SID/FAgbladet: The city council of Copenhagen has decided to ban the Humana/UFF used clothes containers from the city.



2003, Mar. 7, SID/Fagbladet: Tvind is leaving Ecuador. Local workers union representative says that Tvind has sold the Rio Culebra to a local sugar farmer. The Santa Rita plantation was sold October last year and the third Tvind farm, La Italia, is also up for sale.



2003, Mar. 6, Ritzau: The trial officially started wednesday and apart from all 8 pleading not guilty the day was spent disagreeing about and planning the next 80 days in court. It is now scheduled to last until October next year.



2003, Mar. 5, Ritzau: Amdi P. did actually show up for the trial this morning. Some people had feared that he might flee.



2003, Feb. 26, Ritzau: The controversial private investigator Frede Farmand Rasmussen announces the publication of documents concerning the trial against Amdi Petersen et.al., among them are confidential official documents. Public prosecutor, Gade, wonders how that is possible without a criminal leak in the police force. So do we.



2003, Feb. 20, Jyllands-Posten: A group of former TG-members are preparing a lawsuit against Tvind. They say that the leadership were spending their money on luxury for themselves in stead of the original purpose. This invalidates the contract that was signed on entering the TG and opens up for reparations, says lawyer Lars Mumm, Aarhus.



2003, Feb. 21, Jyllands-Posten: A dispute over the salaries of the 12 lawyers appointed by the court involved in the defence of the 8 TG members in the pending court case is not settled yet. The lawyers want Dkr. 18.500 each (appr. 2.500 Euro) per day in court. The standard fee is 12.000 Dkr.



2003, Feb. 19. DR-TV: In a documentary DR journalist Anni Pape tells about the reunion of a group of Tvind students and teachers who in 1972 rebelled against the Tvind system. Much of the documentary was spent on a silly "search" for Anni Papes then lover, Ole Friis Laursen, who defected in 1979 but is still loyal to Amdi Petersen.



2003, Feb. 13, SID/Fagbladet: 5 leaders of Tvind plantations i Latin America have each written a letter to SID saying that the accusations against them are biased and misleading.



2003, Feb. 3, SID/Fagbladet: The British organisation, Banana Link, is accusing Tvind of using child labour in Ecuador.



2003, Jan. 29, Ekstra Bladet/TV2: The TG owned yacht, the Butterfly Macqueen (built 1987 by the TG in Denmark and named after an american actress who starred in Gone With the Wind) is for sale for about half its estimated value of 50 Mill. DKr. in the port of Auckland, NZ.



2003, Jan. 29, Ritzau: 15 former TG members are being listed as witnesses for the prosecution when the case against Tvind reopens on March 5th. No names mentioned.



2003, Jan. 22, Fagbladet/SID: The unskilled workers union i Denmark, SID, is now actively working against the collection of used clothes for Humana. This step is based on research on Tvind plantations in Central America.



2003, Jan 21, Dagens Nyheter: UFF/Humana Sweden is now officially bankrupt. The organisation stopped supporting developing projects last year claiming that their depts had to be payed first. They owe IRS 1,6 mill SEK and more than ten million SEK to other creditors. Who the creditors are is unknown. You can't help suspecting that the bankruptcy is staged?



2003, Jan 15, Ritzau: In a brief press release Amdi Petersens lawyers, Anders Boelskifte and John Korsø Jensen, announce that Amdi P. will not be giving any interviews to the press during the trial.



2003, Jan 10, Ritzau: Amdi Petersen was released from the prison in Holstebro and went to Grindsted in a Mercedes. (Not a BMW - see Nov. 29th) The reason for his release was that there is a risk that his time in prison so far - appr. 11 months - will exceed the expected time that he would have to serve if convicted. The appeals court did not take the flight risk into consideration. In my view it is small.



2003, Jan 9, Ritzau: The appeals court decision on MAP's release is expected tomorrow.



2003, Jan. 8, Jyllands-Posten: The Fisher Island flat (See Oct. 28th 2001) has been sold for 4,85 mill $. Its estimated value is 6 mill $. The sale was a rush job says the real estate agent. Cash problems? we ask.



2003, Jan. 7, DR TV: Amdi Petersen can be released if the appeals court within a few days agrees with the Ringkoebing judge who ruled in favor of a release today.

2002 News Update

2002, Dec. 19, Ritzau: The case continues and MAP is to stay in prison.
2002, Dec. 18, Ritzau: The case against Amdi Petersen started today in the court in Ringkoebing (picture right), 2 months before schedule. He was questioned all day about his role in the Teachers Group. He denies being its leader.

2002, Dec. 8, DR-TV, Soendagsmagasinet: Documents show that MAP in the early 90's planned to place TG money in overseas tax havens through 36 different companies. The documents name Farmer's Trust as the key money bin holding 90 Million U$D.

2002, Dec. 3, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) Research documents, that an estimated several million kroner profit from collecting used clothes in Sweden is channeled to tax havens. Top guy, Dan Wallin, has left UFF Sweden for the same reason.
2002, Dec. 3, Ritzau: MAP is staying in jail until Dec. 19th and probably also during the holidays.
2002, Nov. 29, Jyllands-Posten: Members of the TG has bought a BMW X5, a V8 4x4 that costs appr. 1 mill. DKr. in Denmark (ca. 150.000 Euro). The paper speculates about the expensive ride that MAP is going to get when he is released.
2002, Nov. 24, DR-TV, Soendagsmagasinet: Documents originated from Tvind show the Top 30 of the TG hierarchy. Names are visible on the screen. (Amdi Petersen is second to Kirsten Larsen!) Tvind spokes-person, Karen Hesselbjerg, says that the papers are old and only show the division of tasks in the TG and that all TG members are equal.
2002, Nov. 20, Fagbladet, The workers that were fired from the Rio Culebra plantation in Ecuador are fighting to get proper compensations. They have been offered a few hundred dollars but say that they have a right to much more.
2002, Nov. 18, Ritzau: The police can't have the emails from non-charged members of the TG, according to a ruling by the court in Ringkoebing.
2002, Nov. 13, DR: The police are trying to get hold of more encrypted emails to and from the Tvind leadership. They say that they still haven't established who gave the conrete instructions in the TG.
2002, Nov. 7, Ritzau: Amdi Petersens jailing has been prolonged by another four weeks according to a ruling of the court in Ringkoebing.
2002, Nov. 6, Roskilde Avis: Another Tvind institution for problem kids is opening in Roskilde, "Anden sal til Hoejre".
2002, Oct. 22, Jyllands-Posten: For the first time Amdi Petersen has agreed to give his version of the story to the police and thereby given up his right to silence.
2002, Oct. 10, Berlingske Tidende: Amdi Petersens time in custody has been prolonged by four weeks. The police argues that judging by AP's personal notes confiscated in Los Angeles he was planning to establish a new TG refuge in Pulgas, Mexico. The costs of the court case will be 33 mill. Dkr. or appr. 4½ mill Euro.
2002, Oct. 9, Ritzau (De bergske Blade): Bodil Ross Soerensens lawyer, Bent Unmack Larsen, has excused himself from the case due to old age as he explains it. Ms Soerensen hopes to be able to employ the highly profiled defence attorney Merethe Stagetorn.
2002, Oct. 9, Dagbladet: The town council of Roskilde is considering banning the UFF/Humana collection boxes from public space.
2002, Oct. 4, Ritzau: The 8 leading members of the TG have now been formally charged. The details have not been published yet
2002, Sep. 30, Jyllands-Posten: Chances are slim that Amdi Petersen could be released before the case against him starts Feb. 19th next year.
2002, Sep. 27, BT: The appeal case in Vestre Landsret (district court?) went against Amdi Petersen. He is staying in custody waiting for the criminal case against him. The prosecutor argued that Amdi Petersen had a double identity. He had two sets of business cards when arrested in LA. One set with the name M. Pedersen (with a 'd' instead of a 't'. This is probably why he regularly is called Pedersen in the documents concerning the case.) The other set was in the name M. Cordoba.
2002, Sep. 16, Ritzau: Amdi Petersen is to stay in jail, says Ringkoebing judge.
2002, Sep. 15, Ritzau: Former TG economy manager, Steen Byrner, has sent a letter of support for Amdi Petersen to the court taking responsibility for some of the transactions in question. Steen Byrner lives in Ecuador and claims to have no connection with Tvind or the TG. At the court hearing today Amdi Petersen pleeded not guilty. He appears to be in good shape. The courts decision - whether Amdi P. should stay in custody - will be published Monday morning.
2002, Sep. 15, Politiken: Amdi Petersen arrived at noon Saturday September 14th in Copehagen airport. Hiding his face police rushed him to the court jail in Ringkoebing.
2002, Sep. 14, Politiken: Amdi Petersen is on his way home.
2002, Sep. 10, Ekstra Bladet: Amdi Petersen has asked for another lawyer. Two lawyers have been appointed to Poul Joergensen and Amdi P. wants the same priviledge for himself.
2002, Sep. 6. Berlingske Tidende: Kirsten Fuglsbjerg (AKA Christie Pipps) has been added to the original list of 7 people being charged. See Feb. 7th 2002
2002, Sep. 5, Fagbladet: The last 120 of 230 workers have been fired from the Rio Culebra plantation in Ecuador. Armed guards barred them from going to work. Earlier attempts by the workers union to start a dialogue with the Tvind ownership have now failed.
2002, Sep. 3, Berlingske Tidende: A paper made by some (leading) members of the TG wants to explain why Amdi P. is innocent. Berlingske Tidende tries to sell it as a sensational disclosure of internal Tvind affairs but the paper is really just a compilation of arguments that we already know.
2002, Aug. 30, Kristeligt Dagblad: UFF (Humana Denmark) are still keeping their incomes and expenditures a secret.
2002, Aug. 25, Berlingske Tidende: UFF/Humana are selling used clothes to cheap to Channel Island companies run by Tvind. This way Tvind drain the humanitarian activities to the benefit of purely commercial companies that are selling the clothes at high prices in Eastern Europe. An eye witness and documents support the allegations, says journalist Michael Bjerre. (See also Dec. 29th, 2001) Tvind claim that the low prices are due to a slow market for used clothes.
2002, Aug. 23, TV2: Anders Boelskifte expects the extradition to take place within a few days.
2002, Aug. 23, Kristeligt Dagblad: Denmarks largest chain of supermarkets (COOP Danmark, formerly FDB) has banned the UFF boxes from their grounds, appr. 150 in total. They are to be replaced by Red Cross boxes. COOP Sweden has similar plans.
2002, Aug. 22. Kristeligt Dagblad: Tvind is not complying with regulations when collecting money on the streets of Denmark for the TCE (Fighting AIDS).
2002, Aug. 21, TV2: Anders Boelskifte recommends an unconditional extradition.
2002, Aug. 21, Jyllands-Posten: It seems that the State Department needs to review the paperwork before allowing the extradition. This could take weeks. The terms of the extradition are that no further charges can be brought against Amdi Petersen without the consent of the American authorities.
2002, Aug. 20, Jyllands-Posten: During the court hearing Monday in LA Amdi Petersen himself requested to be transferred to Denmark against the advice of Robert Shapiro - who is losing a client - but in accordance with his Danish solicitor, Anders Boelskifte. Only a few days of paperwork stand in the way of extradition now.
2002, July 7, Ritzau: A Tvind institution in Frederikshavn, "Nordlys", has been closed by the authorities.
2002, July 5, TV2/Tvindalert: 8 Members of the Tvind leadership, Flemming Gustavson, Kirsten Fuglsbjerg (Christine Pipp), Joop Nagel, Anne Hansen, Birgitte Krohn, Birgitte Ring, Marlene Gunst, Else Jensen, have been charged with money laundering in an amount of 3 mio € in Belgium. The case is due to begin Dec. 19th.
2002, June 1, Politiken: Amdi's lawyer is still trying to cut a deal with the Danish public prosecutor - extradition against a guarantee that Amdi is not being imprisoned during trial. Such deals are very rare in the Danish judicial system and the prosecutor has refused the proposal.
2002, May 30, Ekstra Bladet: R. Shapiro, is appealing for the release of his client to The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Los Angeles.
2002, May 26, Søndagsavisen: Another Tvind Fund, Foreningen til Almene formål af 22. august 1989, has been removed from the list of funds and organizations that can recieve tax deductible donations.
2002, May 22, Fyns Amts Avis: Tvind's used clothes collection boxes are no longer wellcome in the town of Svendborg, one of the most profitable collection sites of UFF/Humana Denmark.
2002, May 18, Fagbladet: The conflict at the Rio Culebra plantation in Ecuador is escalating.
2002, May 7, Dagens Nyheter: IKEA has previously information on Tvind done business with Trayton Group but has now decided to break off any connection with the Tvind owned company.
2002, May 4: Fyens Stiftstidende: At a Tvind plantation in Ecuador the workers are on strike not only because their wages are lousy but because they haven't been paid for weeks. The manager Ole Toft Andersen is under police protection.
2002, May 2: Berlingske Tidende: Tvind's furniture company in China, Trayton Group in Shanghai, is under local police investigation for smuggling, that is lack of proper paperwork when importing goods into China.
2002, Apr. 16, TV2: Police confirm that UFF Denmark (=Humana) is under investigation for chanelling funds from charity to the teachers group.
2002, Apr. 3, Jyllands-Posten: Amdi P. has volonteered to come to Denmark if the police would drop the embezzlement charges and only charge him with tax fraud. Danish police will not make such a deal.
2002, Mar. 30, Jyllands-Posten: Amdi Petersens extradition case is due in court in August. Unless he agrees to extradition before that time he is going to stay in jail all summer.
2002, Mar. 29, EkstraBladet: Judge Nora M. Manella in the LA District Court decided Thursday that Amdi P. is not to be released on bail.
2002, Mar. 25, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden): UFF Sweden is restructuring but TG still seem to have a firm grip of the organization.
2002, Mar. 24, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden): IKEA has been buying furniture from the Tvind controlled company, Trayton Group in Shanghai.
2002, Mar. 21, BBC4 broadcasts a ½ hour feature about Tvind in Denmark.
2002, Mar. 19, Radioavisen: The hearing today in LA has been postponed for a week by request of Shapiro.
2002, Mar. 16, Politiken: Some Tvind institutions operate without authorization or have been closed by authorities due to mismanagement or controversial pedagogical methods.
2002, Mar. 14, Berlingske Tidende has made a sound recording from the first LA court hearing on Feb. 19th public on the internet. Amdi Petersen says "yes, sir" when asked to confirm his identity and you hear a few other short answers to some basic questions.
2002, Mar. 10, Politiken: local authorities still send many problem kids to Tvind institutions in Denmark. Tvinds earnings in this line of business are ca. DKr 180 mio.
2002, Mar. 8, BT: According to Thom Mrozek of the US Justice Department Shapiro has filed an appeal for the release of his client.
2002, Mar. 1, several media. The usual suspicion is being stirred up over the last two weeks about Tvinds business at home and abroad but there is no substantial news. Amdi is lawyering up as they say in american films and no one knows the outcome of the next hearing on March 19th.
2002, Feb. 25, Politiken: Amdi P. stays where he is. Next court hearing is set for March 19th. In Denmark a person goes through three stages before a conviction: mistanke, sigtelse, tiltale. In the US there is only two: suspicion and charge. "sigtelse" and "tiltale" generally both translate into charge but persons under "sigtelse" can also be seen as suspects. (A person under "sigtelse" has the right to legal representation and to remain silent under interrogation) Robert Shapiro is trying to convince the LA court that Amdi P. is only a suspect and has not been formally charged (i.e. "tiltalt") but since a warrant for his arrest has been issued by Danish court(s) (local judge AND appeal court) there is no doubt about the legality of the Danish request following a mutual extradition agreement between Denmark and the US. A photo of Amdi P. seen from behind entering a bus for transportation to the jail is NOT the first of its kind in 23 years. A similar photo (by Rick Catlin of TheCayman Compass) from 1990 shows him entering a plane on Grand Cayman Island also seen from behind.
2002, Feb. 23, Søndagsavisen: Tvind is still expanding in Denmark, founding institutions for troubled children and youths.
2002, Feb. 22, BT/Berlingske Tidende: Amdi P. is being held in Kern County Jail, Bakersfield, California. The FBI has for unknown reasons picked him up at the jail to bring him to LA. Hearings about his extradition have been postponed until 19.30h CET friday. Local DA is recieving help from Danish colleagues. Kirsten Larsen and Ruth Sejeroe-Olsen stand by their man and have been photographed outside the court room. Only a drawing from the court room indicates how Amdi P. looks today - no press photos of him yet.
2002, Feb. 20, DR etc.: Amdi Petersen is still being held in prison in the LA area after the first hearing, but he has hired Robert Shapiro who used to represent O.J. Simpson and who has worked extradition cases before succesfully. Shapiro descripes Amdi P. as a great benefactor.
2002, Feb. 19, BT/EkstraBladet/Jyllands-Posten: Speculations are numerous about Amdi P. who is to appear before a federal magistrate in LA today. Danish justice department want him extradited. If he agrees to extradition it will last only a short time. If he denies trials and imprisonment in the US may last up to 1½ year. Poul Joergensen maintains his and Amdi P.s innocense. Amdi P. is sitting in a cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center as prisoner no 21047/112. The arrest "came a day after the U.S. Department of Transportation assumed ultimate authority over passenger and luggage screening at all 429 U.S. airports." LATimes)
2002, Feb. 18, Ritzau: Amdi Petersen has been arrested by the Los Angeles Police by request of the Danish police. He was in transit from Africa to Mexico when apprehended.
2002, Feb. 7, Fyens Stiftstidende: Eva Vestergaard is no longer a suspect in the case against the humanitarian foundation. The seven persons charged are: Poul Jørgensen, Amdi Petersen, Bodil Ross Sørensen, Kirsten Larsen, Malene Gunst, Ruth Sejerø Olsen and Steen Byrner. (see Feb. 6)
2002, Feb 6, Horsens Folkeblad: MP Troels Lund Poulsen is now taking up the case of Tvinds small schools in Vejle Amt (county of Vejle) as a result of the case from Raadved (see Jan. 24)
2002, Feb. 6, Radioavisen/Holstebro Dagblad: Another four people are now under suspicion and have been charged in the case against the humanitarian foundation. At the same time the police are giving up investigations against one person, which means that altogether seven people are on the list.
2002, Feb. 2, Fyens Stiftstidende: Tvind is trying to get another small school running on the ship 'Hans Christian Andersen' of Nyborg.
2002, Jan. 26, Politiken: A Tvind foundation for fine arts (Kunstforeningen af 1985) has given up a sponsorship (appr. 3 mill Dkr.) for Karl-Heinz Stockhausen's opera "Mittwoch". After Stockhausens unfortunate remarks on 9.11 co-sponsors have been hard to find for the 3 Mill D-mark show. Chairman Sune Joergensen says that the foundation hopes it will be able promote "Mittwoch" at a later date.
2002, Jan. 24, Horsens Folkeblad/Vejle Amts Folkeblad: Local residents protest against a planned Tvind small school in Laerkenfeldt, Raadved.
2002, Jan. 23, Roskilde Avis: The town council of Roskilde is considering a termination of their cooperation with one of the Tvind schools in Roskilde (Heldagsskolen ved Roskilde Fjord) due to the schools very bad economy.
2002, Jan. 22, Ritzau: Plans have been made for The Tvind school in Faaborg, Nakkeboelle, to become partly a centre for refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan. Local authorities protest because they consider the mix of troubled youths and asylum seekers to be dangerous.
2002, Jan. 18, JydskeVestkysten: The former Tvindschool Lakolk on the island Roemoe, which was bought by Tvind as early as 1980, has now been sold and is being reconstructed as a hotel.
2002, Jan. 1, Ekstra Bladet: An updated survey of Tvinds property in Denmark

2001 News Update

2001, Dec 29, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden): UFF Sweden is on the verge of bankrupcy with a dept of 4,9 mill SEK to public and private creditors. UFF spokesman Thomas Gregersen says that second-hand business is in a crisis and won't give any specific figures. Donations of used clothes amount to 8900 t in Sweden alone which indicates that the turnover is at least 200 mill SEK.
2001, Dec 29, Ekstra Bladet: A large amount of evidence incl. 100.000 documents from the Tvind computers are slowing down police investigations says Jens Kaasgaard.
2001, Dec 29, Berlingske Tidende: Tvind pressure on Hans la Cour (see Dec. 2) seems to backfire. Twenty former TG-members now want to tell their story to the police according to chief-of-police in Holstebro Jens Kaasgaard (Important notice: In Denmark the chief-of-police is also the public prosecutor). They have changed their minds because they are angry about the way la Cour is being treated by Tvind.
2001, Dec 11, Ritzau: In a case against Den rejsende Hoejskole paa Sejrens Vej (Travelling Folk High School) the Ministry of Education won in the appeal court (Vestre Landsret). The school has to pay back all state subsidies recieved over several years amounting to 4,9 mill. Dkr. The case started in 1996 and has no direct implication on the new fraud case.
2001, Dec 11, BT: Tvind (i.e. Faelleseje) has been convicted of VAT evation. Faelleseje used to lease cars, furniture and computers to the schools and doing so they avoided paying VAT for several years. VAT in Denmark is 25% so Faelleseje now has to pay several mill. Dkr. back. (See press release Sep. 19th 1996)
2001, Dec. 2, TV2, Tvind wants compensation for public defamation from Hans la Cour, now a resident of New Zealand and an important witness in the case against Tvind. La Cour says to TV2 that he feels intimidated and that his first concern is his own economical welfare and the well being of his family and not the case against Tvind.
2001, Nov. 30, Ekstra-Bladet: A former TG-member tells about a speach held by MAP in Juelsminde, Denmark in 1996, where he compares himself and Tvind with the lost son of a king in a typical mix of revolutionary and religious rhetorics. My comment: Ekstra-Bladet says that there were 500 TG-members present, but Tvinds own well known account of the meeting says 250 which probably comes closer to the actual size of the TG in Denmark.
2001, Nov. 30, Berlingske Tidende: Tvind still has several small schools in Denmark and they are now being accused of overcharging the local authorities by raising the rent of the houses of the schools to an unrealistically high level. (The buildings are primarily owned by Faelleseje.)
2001, Nov. 29, Ekstra-Bladet/Ritzau: According to secret sources Amdi Petersen has declared that Tvind is to leave Denmark within 2004. Poul Joergensen denies.
2001, Nov. 22, Expressen (Sweden): Swedish companies and the government have sponsored Tvind. The Dairy Company Arla have donated some computers to the organisation but they fiercely refuse to be called "partners" and have demanded to be taken off the Tvind homepage of sponsors. Some military surplus materials (don't worry! no guns, mainly clothes) have been donated as well.

2001, Nov. 15, Jyske-Vestkysten: Tvind is now trying to buy two properties in southern Jutland, a former Motel in Doestrup and a former Inn in Oedis. The latter should be substitute for the closed school in Lakolk on the island Rømø.
2001, Nov. 11, Jyske-Vestkysten: Amdi hide-out in Grindsted, Jutland, is for sale. The house was searched during the big razzia in April and Amdi Petersen has stayed there when i Denmark.

2001, Nov. 3, Jyllands-Posten: A big article describes a Tvind farm in Zimbabwe, where the headquarters of Humana, UFF, ADPP etc. are located.
2001, Oct. 28, Jyllands-Posten: In a big scoop feature covering 7 pages 3 journalists describe in detail the 6 mill. $ flat that a Tvind company owns 5302 Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island, Miami. It is being used by Amdi Petersen. They also published a recent picture of Amdi Petersen. It has been commonly known that Tvind owns property in Miami Beach but the actual adress of this flat and some interesting details on the enormous costs of living there are new. The newspaper Ekstra-Bladet accuse Jyllands-Posten of having printet a digitally manipulation of an old photo of Amdi Petersen. Jyllands-Posten admits that the picture could be a manipulated photo (Urban nov. 1, 2001) but has great confidence in their secret source. My comment: Ekstra-Bladet's reporter has spent time and money doing futile research in Florida and he is pissed off. The paper would have loved to tell the same story. But they have a point. The picture is very clearly digitalized. The reporters have probably been able to photocopy his picture off some ID-card (Amdi Petersen is a member of the Fisher Island Golf Club) and then they have brushed it up with colours and hidden their source by removing the background, a stamp or any signs of the origin. People who know him say that it looks like him. The whole story has stirred up a new wave of public outrage. Inland revenue wants to tax Amdi Petersen for this fringe benefit extravaganza and some ex-TG-member announce a possible law-suit against Tvind for being misled. Humana is being accused of fraud and Company Records is going through the confiscated computers with the police in Holstebro. Basically it doesn't change anything for the police investigations. For Amdi P. it's just another day at the job. He is probably mad because his hideout has been found and he will probably move. Who knows?
2001, Sep. 30, JyskeVestkysten: Tvind has published confident papers concerning the raid on April 25th on the internet: http://www.fonden.org/pressemeddelelse.pdf . It is now being investigated if one of the Tvind lawyers, Jørgen Jacobsen (who has defended Amdi P. since 1969), has comitted anything illegal by letting Tvind have copies of the papers. The papers clearly show that the police in Holstebro had made an agreement with the private investigator Frede Farmand that made it possible for him to be present and videotape the actual raid. In exchange he promised to give up a surveillance of Tvind headquartes in order to prevent suspicion of an upcoming raid. Frede Farmand is an old enemy of Tvind. They basically hate him and try to incriminate him in any way.
2001, Sep. 17, BT: Police have now retrieved so much information from the confiscated computers that they no longer consider it necessary to let former Tvind members, incl. Steen Byrner, appear as witnesses in the trial.
2001, Aug. 25, Ritzau: Danish government development aid to Zimbabwe has been stopped because of Mugabes destructive policy. As a result a delegation from the Zimbabwean government is visiting Denmark tomorrow. The trip is sponsored by Tvind.
2001, Aug. 23, Civilretsdirektoratet ( http://www.civildir.dk/publikationer/Tvind/presse08-23.htm ) has now appointet a new board for the humanitarian foundation. Chairman is the lawyer Jesper Lett, Borgergade 111, DK-1300 København K.
2001, Aug. 15, Berlingske Tidende: Tvind is negotiating the sale of another house in northern Jutland. At the same time by way of the courts Tvind is trying to regain control of the humanitarian foundation and its millions.
2001, Aug. 14, The court in Viborg has decided that the raid on April 25 was justifiable with a few minor exceptions. The Police continue investigations into the alleged fraud made by the board of the humanitarian foundation.
2001, Aug. 9, JyskeVestkysten: Questions are raised by politicians why criminals are sentenced to work for Tvind. (Courts can use "samfundstjeneste" - community service - instead of jail as punishment)
2001 Aug. 8, Berlingske Tidende: Leader of Tvinds American recycling company, Mikael Norling, has returned to Denmark to take part in the defence of Tvind at the court (Landsretten) in Viborg. The court will present its decision whether the raid on Tvind on April 25 was illegal or not next tuesday. The police have a strong case since they have succeeded in breaking the codes of the confiscated Tvind computers revealing incriminating correspondance between Tvind leaders.
2001 Aug. 7, Berlingske Tidende: On behalf of danish police, american police (no specifications about which force, local or FBI etc.) have searched the accounts belonging to Tvind in the Miami Citi Bank. Danish police hope to get a clearer view of the international economic transactions of Tvind.
2001 Aug. 5, JyskeVestkysten: Tvind (i.e. "Fælleseje") is selling a former hotel on the island of Roemoe, that until recently housed a small school ("Fremtidens Danmark") My comment: This is the first time that Tvind is selling major property in Denmark except from the selling of Nebbegaard. It is a sign of the pressure that the authorities are putting on Tvind. Tvind is probably trying to move their assets to tax havens overseas before they are being confiscated. According to local sources Tvind owned houses in Grindsted are now for sale.
2001 Aug. 5: Tvind has set up a website (in Danish) defending the Humanitarian Foundation that is being investigated for fraud: http://www.fonden.org/
2001 July 15, Berlingske Tidende: Erhvervs- og Selskabsstyrelsen (Company Records) is launching a large scale investigation of Tvinds commercial activities in Denmark on the basis of the material that was confiscated earlier this year. Sources claim that many more illegal activities will be revealed.
2001 July 15, Berlingske Tidende: Some of Tvinds top leaders, including Mogens Amdi Petersen, Marlene Gunst, Ruth Sejerø-Olsen are emigrating to UK.
2001 July 7, Berlingske Tidende: Aage Michelsen, professor of tax law at the University of Aarhus and advisor to the government, is being questioned by the police. He was a paid consultant to Poul Jørgensen and the Tvind foundation now being investigatet for fraud. The police want information on his business relations with the foundation and they also want to know if he can be made liable for the illegal administration of the foundation.
2001 July 6, JyskeVestkysten: The development aid foundation of the danish state, DANIDA, and the unskilled workers union, SiD, are supporting COLSIBA, a latin american organisation helping the local unions. Among the toughest opponents of the unions are the banana plantations owned by off shore Tvind companies. The interesting part of the story is that both DANIDA and SiD used to support Tvind activities.
2001 June 28, Berlingske Tidende: In a document to the danish authorities Poul Jørgensen by mistake admits that Tvind owns the Fazenda Jatoba plantation in Brazil. This means that Tvind has used tax deductible funds (2.8 mill dollars) to finance their own business. According to danish law this is highly illegal. Poul Jørgensen is presently being prosecuted for that crime.
2001 June 27, Jyllands-Posten: The board of a Tvind foundation has been dismissed by the authorities because they have proof of irregularities. This means that Tvind loses control of millions of Dkr.
2001 April 25: Police confiscate documents from several adresses afiliated with Tvind

Is Tvind a cult?

Tvind has many traits in common with cults. You find the charismatic leader, the conversion, the annulment of the members autonomy, the total replacement of family and old friends by the members, the total devotion to a common goal and the secrecy in financial and other affairs. The true tvinders belong to what is generally called the Teachers Group, TG. (Important notice: not everybody working for Tvind is a member of the Teachers Group, and not every member of TG is a teacher.)



A well-known feature of cults is sexual abuse committed by the guru. No one has directly accused Amdi Petersen of abuse of that kind. Former friends of his have suggested that it was the case during his time as a teacher.
Tvind is no religion. It is an ideology with no hopes of an afterlife. It is to a certain extend very pragmatic and unromantic. Personal feelings as well as love for nature are considered disturbing elements in the correct perception of the world. The leadership however - especially Amdi Petersen - can be very arbitrary or even capricious.
It is my personal view that Tvind is not about money. Money is a means to an end which is growth of the organisation, further control of more followers. For outsiders following Tvind money is important because it enables you to map out the structures of the organisation. The backbone of Tvind is the devotion of the followers.

Who is Amdi Petersen?

Mogens Amdi Petersen (born 1939) graduated from a teachers college in Haderslev in 1961. (Amdi Petersen is his family name, but since Amdi is as uncommon as Mogens and Petersen (sometimes referred to as Pedersen) are common, he is known to the public as just "Amdi".)
He served as a soldier 1961-62 (artillery) and the moved to Odense where he got a job teaching in a school called Kroggårdsskolen. He attracted some attention from the media because he was one of the driving forces behind a collectively owned villa with lots of left winged activities, art exhibitions etc. He supported the anti-apartheid movement, the anti nuclear bomb movement etc.
After two years of teaching in 1965 his position was up for debate by the board of education in northern Odense like any other young teacher. It should have been a routine case since he was very well liked by his pupils, his colleagues and his headmaster, but the board of education didn't like his looks so they denied further employment of Amdi Petersen. The chairman specifically stated: "We don't like his long hair!" It was on the outside a question of hygiene, on the inside of politics. This version of the story has later been revised. It seems as if Amdi Petersen was dismissed because of improper behaviour.
1967-68 the villa was sold and the group of friends travelled around the world. They stayed for several weeks on Tahiti where they made friends with some of the locals.

1969 Amdi Petersen was arrested for throwing a rock against a policeman during an anti-right-wing demonstration in Flensburg, Germany. He was convicted but at the appeal the sentence was suspended.

1970 he founded Den rejsende Folkehøjskole, The Travelling Folk High School, which is basically an institutionalised version of the world trip made by the group of friends two years before. Having participated on one trip - being a "veteran" as they called it - qualified for "teaching" the next course.
1979 he left all official positions within the Tvind organisation. He wasn't seen in public for more than 20 years. In 2002 some recent pictures of him appeared in the press. There is no doubt though that he still plays a crucial role in controlling the vast empire. He is a charimatic leader. He travels around the world, mainly in the Caribbean, Denmark and southern Africa. His official adress until 2001 was Skorkærvej 8, Ulfborg. He then officially emigrated to Britain. His adress is unknown.
2002 he was arrested in LAX by request of the Danish public prosecutor. At the following trial he was acquitted.

Economic structure

From the beginning employees of Tvind have had a shared economy. At first it was what is often referred to as a "yellow bucket", i.e. a box where money was accumulated. From 1972 this "yellow bucket" became institutionalised in the shape of a "Savings Union" (Spareforening) and the money was canalized into different foundations.

Until 1996 Tvind recieved close to 100 mill Dkr. every year from the Danish state and local authorities. The money was for the most part given to Tvind according to a very liberal law covering a wide variety of schools (The so called "De frie skoler", "free schools"). Tvinds schools are/were only a small part of the total amount of institutions covered by the law. "Abuse of tax payers money" is a very common phrase among Tvind critics but it is only true in an indirect sense. The truly abused are the TG-members and volunteers who donate their money and time in good faith.
During the 80's expansion overseas activities increased and funds were placed in tax havens. Generally the Tvind philanthropic work is considered to be a cover up for purely commercial activities using fraud and tax evation. Two people from the TG leadership - Steen Byrner and Poul Jørgensen - have recieved jail sentences in 2006 and 2009.
The UFF, Humana etc. third world organisations are in fact very small as well with only a very few members and cannot be called democratic in any way. Tvind is very careful not to let outsiders carry any weight. On the other hand they need non-TG-members to give an impression of a democratic and open structure.



Amdi Petersens name never appears in any official papers from Tvind. His leadership is based purely on his personal charisma. (See Max Weber on charismatic leadership. Amdi Petersen is a prototype.) Poul Joergensen has been a true follower of Amdi Petersen since the late 60's and appearantly puts up with most of what he is told to do.

It is very hard to estimate the value of Tvind assets worldwide. They must have accumulated a fortune of several 100 mill dollars if they have done everything right from an economic point of view. On the other hand they have sufferede set backs and have made some really bad investments from time to time - some due to incompetence some to ideology or simple idées fixes. (They tried to make an electric car and once set up a SETI antenna.)

History of Tvind

History of Tvind:


It started in 1970 when a group of young Danes started an experimenting school on the island of Fanø in western Denmark. In 1967-68 they had travelled around the world and seen the poverty of the third world. The school is not about knowledge but consciousness. The aim is to reform the world using maoist theories about the third world as the motor of the great revolution.

1972 they bought a small farm in western Jutland called Tvind. There they built several schools including af teachers college. All the schools recieved public subsidies according to the very liberal danish law of education.
1977 UFF was founded. It has many aliases around the world: Humana, DAPP, ADPP etc. From the beginning it has supported communist regimes especially in southern Africa. Tvind has a special relationship to Robert Mugabe because UFF supported his movement when it was still in exile in Mozambique.
1978 The worlds largest wind turbine was erected in Tvind. It is today the worlds oldest megawatt wind turbine still running, although not at full power.

1983, 1st of february, the Tvind owned ship, "Activ", went down in the English Channel in a heavy storm. 8 people died. The tragedy could have been prevented if they had listened to warnings but Tvind only rarely listens to outsiders. They know best.
1988 The teachers college no longer recieved state subsidies, and the graduates have no acces to work in danish schools, except Tvind of course.
1980-1996 in spite of heavy criticism and some setbacks Tvind kept expanding, nationally and internationally. 1996 a law was passed denying state subsidies to all 32 Tvind schools in Denmark. The law was declared non-constitutional by the high court in 1999 but Tvind still does not recieve any money from the state.
Due to recent law suits (see update) Tvind activities in Denmark seem to have decreased, although Tvind now run several institutions for criminal and troubled youths with financial support of local authorities.