Friday, 8 January 2010

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.

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