Initial responses to our open letter


Update (23-5-2014)

Through investigations conducted on the 28th of February 2014 as a result of proceedings between us and a number of different parties in relation to defamation, we have discovered that many of the links contained herein are to posts that had been taken down around that time. These links will remain broken and we will not make any attempt to re-link them until such time as these proceedings have concluded.



We sent the link to our open letter directly to a few critics we knew as well as to some of the major websites that deal with Steiner criticism. We noticed that our letter has been read by many, many more people, so thank you very much to those who have passed it on.


We regretfully haven’t heard back from any of you though, and as we’ve informed you, we will take no response as an approval by you that you’re perfectly happy with the way we’ve been treated on Alicia Hamberg’s blog, since we have actively solicited comment of all those people on the basis that such behaviour towards families is not ethical.


We did however find some responses to our letter online which we are including here. We hope to hear back from others soon.


The first one to comment was Alicia Hamberg herself. On the 12th of October, she tweeted the following six messages:


1. “To the demented New Zealand fuckwits -- no, I'm not the 'protector of steiner critics'. I just happen to despise you two.


Yet many people in the Steiner critic community do look up to her and she has taken it upon herself to warn people about us. She has influence as she writes profusely and is incredibly active, unlike the other sites linked to from the main American anti-Steiner website, PLANS, many of which don’t appear to have been updated for a long while.


2. “And I've been clear from the start: I'm not in this to 'help' anyone. I don't give a shit about things like that.


Yet Alicia has never refuted Thetis Mercurio’s comment on her own blog that “the very purpose of Waldorf Critics is to protect children” which appears to contradict the above statement if Alicia is indeed a Waldorf / Steiner critic.


3. “I refuse to promote your despicable projects and my blog is my blog. I certainly don't understand why that became an obligation.


That’s an odd comment: where in our letter - or anywhere else for that matter - do we complain that Alicia isn’t promoting our work? In fact, we have never asked her to do this and our efforts with the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School, The Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in New Zealand and then later this very site were talked about and analysed on her blog without us knowing about it. We just discovered the discussions because of the handful of click-throughs that came from her website.


We did ask her via a private email if she’d be willing to put up one or two of our posters in her home town, but [nothing came of that] she declined to help. More recently, we did add a comment to one of her posts asking for people to read and discuss the LSN article Angel wrote, but this was because Thetis Mercurio, Alicia’s friend, had asked us to write it, so we wanted Alicia’s followers to know about it. If we’d realised that this would have sparked the ferocious attack against us, we would’ve stayed well away.


4. “I'm not even going to mention who you are -- that's how I despise you. And I don't give a damn what other steiner critics do.


5. “I'm not in any group and speak for nobody. What's the idea: because I went to waldorf & criticized it, I must support idiocy? Going out...


Of course not, but by censoring and banning us for mentioning on your site Thetis Mercurio’s behaviour towards our family, particularly towards our eldest daughter, you are obviously supporting that behaviour.


6. “... before I join the Anthroposophical Society just for spite.


She later posted on her blog that she is “Representing nobody but myself.” but also that she has “to remember Bjørneboe’s words: write so that every word can be used against you. [...] You will occasionally encounter people who don’t play fair.


She may view our letter and us using her own words to illustrate the mobbing that took place on her site as not playing fair, but unlike many people, we don’t shuffle off after having been beaten up. We didn’t do it when the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner school community mobbed us, and we’re not going to do it now.  Maybe people aren’t used to that.


“Thetis Mercurio” then made a surprise return to the internet after having deleted her Twitter account - including over 19,000 tweets which she’d written over the years - merely hours after us publishing our letter. Now calling herself merely “Thetis”, she said:


Gradually I got to know Alicia, who I now consider a very dear friend. I value her intelligence, wit, humour and the sheer speed of her analysis – and I admire her courage.


It looks like Thetis thinks that Alicia hasn’t done anything wrong. She also added:


I’ve nothing to hide


But if she does indeed have nothing to hide, why has she broken off communication with us so abruptly, never answering any emails pleading to understand what went wrong, her husband refusing to acknowledge numerous texts and her son hanging the phone on us?


We are still open for discussion, but Thetis obviously isn’t and appears absolutely fine about that.


And finally, we have Diana Winters:


And we adore you too! Thanks for being you.


And falk:


thank you for being you.


What better confirmation that mobbing people is the proper thing to do if you don’t like what you read, if Alicia is indeed adored and admired?


In reality of course, whether or not someone is adored or admired is entirely irrelevant, the expression of it in response, with Thetis reappearing, is simply a public show of complete indifference, devoid of respect towards us, and clearly ignoring any of the actual problems that we went to the trouble to flag up. 


Is this what other critics think as well? We are still awaiting your answer - although your silence over the last few weeks regretfully speaks volumes.


We do not understand this approach to communication, whereby the response to any problem is to ignore, mob and censor.  We will continue to monitor the situation as a valid part of the Steiner Education picture, because if it is indeed true that having read the letter, so many people are speechless, and no-one has the wit to object “if it was true” even, then we are definitely on to something of public interest.


That is really sad, but as we appear to have a difference of opinion about what is ethical behaviour in such situations, we will continue to highlight what could hurt others who think more as we do.


Over to you.




 
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