Friday, 8 January 2010

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.

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