Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's time for another warning on an organization calling itself "Humana People to People," which is a front for a cult called Tvind. Humana has eleven shops in Barcelona, and it is running advertisements in the local giveaway press that read: "By shopping at Humana, or donating the clothing you no longer use, besides helping us carry out cooperative projects in several countries in Africa, you also contribute to not creating thousands of tons of waste that pollutes our planet. We have been recycling for more than 20 years."

From The Times:

Hull-based CICD is Tvind's main British outpost. Nobody knows what to make of the organisation - it is part "schools co-operation", part "clothes-recycling project", part "Third World volunteer organisation", part instrument of world revolution, part multinational business concern. Some people devote their lives to it, but many believe it is exploiting naive young people.

...Tvind is very controversial in its native Denmark. Its ability to claim millions of krone from the State in funding for its schools has led to attempts to change the Constitution. Most Danes are aware - and concerned - that Tvind has become a multinational business concern as well as, according to its own lights, an educational and aid charity. Apparently funded by its own members, volunteers, public donations and official grants, Tvind has reportedly invested in property, fruit plantations, old-clothes trading in Central America, Africa and the Pacific - though these commercial ventures are rarely disclosed to young volunteers.

From the Boston Globe:

The members of the group's inner circle, known as the Teachers Group,
commit to staying with the movement for life, donating their salaries to a
communal fund, and relocating anywhere they are needed, according to Danish
prosecutors and former members.

At first, the group's efforts gained renown in Denmark, attracting
thousands of volunteers. But as the schools and charities spread across
Europe, critics accused group leaders of negligence, cloudy finances, and a
near-fanatical demand for loyalty from members. Denmark passed a law
forbidding state funding for the organization. French authorities
classified the group as a nonreligious cult.

''It's huge, and nobody can really work out what's at the bottom of it,''
said Michael Durham, a British freelance journalist who created a Web site
aimed at exposing Pedersen and the dozens of charities and for-profit
companies he allegedly controls. ''Is it about money? Is it about power? Is
about this one man? Or is it about left wing politics?''

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