A dossier on the Tvind Teachers Group. Are Humana People-to-People, Planet Aid, the Gaia Movement and DAPP siphoning off cash through tax havens? Is it a cult?

A dossier on the Tvind Teachers Group. Are Humana People-to-People, Planet Aid, the Gaia Movement and DAPP siphoning off cash through tax havens? Is it a cult?

Mikael Norling has been a supporter of the Tvind Teachers Group for more than 35 years.  He is the most senior member of the organisation in the USA.

He was in at the start, one of 131 people who in 1977 signed the deed for a trust fund that in Danish was called Den Selvejende Institution Fælleseje (pronounced: den say-LINE ins-tih-TOO-shun FAIL-us-eye); in English: ‘The Self-Governing Institution Communal Ownership’.  Called Fælleseje for short, the fund launched Lærergruppen [‘The Teachers Group’ (TG)], the controlling body of the broader Tvind organisation.  The pledge bound the signatories to three group precepts: ‘Common Time, ‘Common Distribution’, and Common Finances’.

By signing, Norling committed himself to work long-term towards the aims of the TG collective, to create a new social order based on Maoist communist ideology.

He would share his money, work for free, and agree to follow whatever instructions he was given in pursuit of the cause.  New recruits are still expected to agree to similar terms.  It is, in effect, an intellectual, financial and psychological straight-jacket, controlled by the TG’s supreme leader, Mogens Amdi Petersen.

Norling knew the score as he had already spent time at one of Petersen’s radical Tvind institutions, most likely Den Rejsende Højskoler (den RYE-sen-uh HOY-skohl-uh) [The Travelling Folk Highschools], at Ulfborg in western Denmark.  At the time, Petersen’s radical schools were fashionable and cutting-edge; nobody suspected they would have a dark side.

The TG subsequently evolved into a cult, with Petersen in charge, trapping many of the ‘comrades’ into essentially a life of servitude.  It grew to encompass dozens of schools, ‘charities’, volunteering programmes and commercial activities, culminating in a big property empire.  Petersen and his inner circle became rich.  Many of the original comrades defected, complaining of being exploited and abused. 

Norling, however, stayed in the system, became a Tvind ‘Teacher’ himself, and eventually rose to become principal of Tvind’s self-styled  ‘The Necessary Teacher Training College’.  In the 1980s or early 1990s he moved to the USA on Petersen’s instructions, and has since gained US citizenship. 

Norling has worked hard for the TG in America, Denmark and Switzerland ever since. 

When Petersen was arrested in the USA and extradited to Denmark, charged with fraud and other financial crimes, Norling remained loyal.  He travelled to Denmark to attend the trial in 2002.

Mikael Norling with fellow senior TG member, Bodil Ross Sørensen, 2002

Norling with fellow senior TG member, Bodil Ross Sørensen; Denmark, 2002

Norling has been involved with nearly all the TG’s enterprises in the USA.  He founded the used clothes and volunteering enterprise Planet Aid Inc. as a 503(c)(3) charity in Massachusetts on behalf of the TG in 1997, and is still chairman.  He has been involved with three TG volunteer training schools: he was founder and later a director of the Institute for International Cooperation and Development (IICD) school in Massachusetts (now closed).  He was at one time a director of the IICD school in Michigan, and also a chairman of Campus California, now a used clothes collection business rebranded ‘Recycle for Change’, operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.

And he is also a financial advisor to Simon Li Enterprises, a TG concern in China.

Most significantly, he is clearly a central figure in the Humana People-to-People (HPP) international financial money-go-round, which has for more than 30 years used offshore banking and brass plate companies to launder money around the world.  He acted as a property agent when allegedly embezzled funds were used to buy a luxury condo for Petersen in Miami through an offshore company named Argyll Smith.

Norling is currently a board member of the Gaia Trust, a private trust based in Switzerland, which receives the ‘charity’ money raised by the TG through its ‘Gaia Movement’, which operates clothing collection bins in the U.S. and the UK.   

He was on the board of Fælleseje, the TG’s trust fund now under Danish state supervision because of financial misdemeanours.

And until recently he was Vice President of a second TG Swiss private association, the Federation of Associations connected to the International Humana People-to-People Movement, which controls HPP finances.

In the only interview ever given to the US press, Norling strongly denied that the TG is a Maoist organisation.  He is, however, noted for unorthodox political views.

He is known to have cultivated ties with China, Cambodia and North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, and, according to the press report, once hosted a party in Denmark commemorating the birthday of Kim Il Sung, founder of communist North Korea.

He “has given numerous speeches defending as misunderstood the former Cambodian strongman Pol Pot, widely recognized as being responsible for the deaths of more than a million of his countrymen,” the newspaper interview alleges.

Like other senior TG figures, Norling is believed to travel often to TG Pacifico, Tvind’s luxurious world headquarters 90 miles south of San Diego on Mexico’s Baja coast, and to TG offices in Zimbabwe, Belize, China and Denmark. 

Whatever his politics, nobody else in the USA could be better informed than Norling about the TG’s financial affairs, secrets and true agenda.  And few others could be as close to the fugitive Amdi Petersen.  If Denmark really wants to find Amdi Petersen, perhaps Mr. Norling’s office would be a good place to start.

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