Friday, 8 January 2010

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.)

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