Peter Hounam Investigates

Daily Mirror, Friday, July 9, 1993

A RICH revolutionary group which backs terrorists in the world’s trouble spots is operating in Britain – as a registered charity.

It teaches bomb-making techniques and how to set fire to forests belonging to the “hated capitalists.”

Peace cult preaches violence

Its Danish guru, Mogens Amdi Pedersen, once asked 600 followers if they were prepared to kill for his cause. They replied: YES.

An offshoot has produced a record in South Africa called Kill Nelson Mandela because the ANC president is regarded as not being extreme enough. Yet it is taking millions of pounds from British local authorities for looking after problem kids in private boarding schools which charge four times the price of a place at Eton.

It has built up an international business empire with a fleet of ships, a TV channel, Caribbean plantations, shops and a massive trading company selling second-hand clothes.

The organisation, Tvind, was formed as a peace group in Denmark in the 1970s and operates in Britain as the charity Humana.

Its pinewood clothing banks, where people’s cast-offs can be donated to “help the Third World”, are a familiar sight on street corners in towns and cities.

But the clothes are Bold to swell bank accounts in Jersey, Belize in Central America and Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.

TENS of millions are said to be held at a Barclays Bank branch in Belize City. Luxury villas and banana plantations in the Cayman Islands have been bought from the proceeds of its fake charitable activities – and so, it is feared, have machine guns, hand grenades and TNT.

For the claims of Humana to be a peaceful organisation are bogus.

Until 1984 a Tvind company published guides to war, guerrilla camps, political conflicts, terror movements, arson and bombings. Children and adults holding weapons were shown. Its “travel book on Ireland” showed how to make Molotov cocktails for use against the security services and glorified IRA atrocities.

There is no evidence that Tvind or Humana has been indulging in militaristic activities here, but their money raising methods are worrying Oxfam and the International Red Cross.

As a result of my investigation, the British Charities Commission is at last holding an inquiry. There are thousands of Humana clothing banks around the country and seven shops in London, Manchester and Stockport. Humana says every penny made goes in “emergency aid to the Third World.”

But the Charities Commission told me: “We are aware that only two per cent of Humana’s charitable donations actually go to charitable purposes.”

Tvind is known to Interpol, but it has hoodwinked the authorities in many parts of the world and built up a base in Britain, unhindered by police and officialdom.

In 1984 it bought a school near Norwich, to provide “education for children in need of care and attention”. A riot there in 1989 was investigated by the police.

ANOTHER school, at Winestead, near Hull, is worrying Robert Lake, Humber side’s director of social services.

The county council had two children at the £50,000-a-year school, but has now taken them away. Lake says: “I am not satisfied about the welfare of the children, and I am very anxious about the stories I have heard about Tvind.

“The kids are almost like automatons. I have recently had inspectors in the school and am keeping a close eye on the whole situation.”

At the school this week, we were told that all the children were at sea – on one of five boats operated by Tvind. A naval patrol skipper who refused to take over one said: “It was the filthiest vessel I have ever seen.”

recently had inspectors in the school and am keeping a close eye on the whole situation.” At the school this week, we were told that all the children were at sea – on one of five boats operated by Tvind. A naval patrol slipper who refused to take over one said: “It was the filthiest vessel I have ever seen.” In 1982, a Tvind-owned schooner with eight Scandinavian students and a teacher aboard sank with no survivors during a voyage from Dover. Tvind asked the parents to pay for trans porting bodies home. O WHAT IS Tvind? This week I con fronted Jon Nordmo at a Tvind centre he runs near Lillehammer in Norway and asked him. He replied mechani recently had inspectors in the school and am keeping a close eye on the whole situation.” At the school this week, we were told that all the children were at sea – on one of five boats operated by Tvind. A naval patrol slipper who refused to take over one said: “It was the filthiest vessel I have ever seen.”

In 1982, a Tvind-owned schooner with eight Scandinavian students and a teacher aboard sank with no survivors during a voyage from Dover. Tvind asked the parents to pay for transporting bodies home.

SO WHAT IS Tvind? This week I confronted Jon Nordmo at a Tvind centre he runs near Lillehammer in Norway and asked him.

He replied mechanically: “I am afraid I do not have time to answer you. Please fax me your questions.”

I persisted, but Nordmo clammed up. Then he lashed out, grabbed the female photographer and tried to wrestle the camera out of her hand.

I had to restrain him and bundle him into his office.

Tvind named after the Danish village where it has its HQ- was formed as a commune in 1970 by lecturer Amdi Pedersen after a row with his university over his beard and long hair.

Soon it was sending Danish teenagers in battered buses to Central Africa, India and Turkey to build schools and help poor communities.

Pedersen – now a semi recluse living with cronies in luxury villas in the Cayman Islands – thought communal living and hard work could help delinquent kids, and Tvind was given huge sums by the Danes to look after them. But soon there were worries that Tvind was turning into a sinister cult. People were given little time to sleep.

They were put on strange diets, and meetings to discuss group policy sometimes lasted days. Pedersen addressed 600 members in Denmark in 1987.

When one of them asked to leave early, Pedersen fell to the ground, frothing at the mouth. He asked whether the movement should be prepared to kill in some circumstances. They all backed the proposal.

Power is concentrated in a co-ordinating group of 20 “teachers”. But there are accidents. One man had part of his hand chopped off in a machine.

A child of nine died after falling down a lift shaft he and his classmates had been told to repair.

Henriette Hansen was sent to Zimbabwe as a 14 year-old – and nearly died. As she hitch-hiked to Dar es Salaam with a 17-year-old, a lorry driver began touching her. When she struggled, the lorry crashed. She survived with huge holes in her left leg and arm and skull damage, but the 17-year-old died. Tvind did not even pay the expenses for Henriette’s mother to visit her as she clung to life in a coma.

It has built up an international business empire with a fleet of ships, a TV channel, Caribbean plantations, shops and a massive trading company selling second-hand clothes. The organisation, Tvind, was formed as a peace group in Denmark in the 1970s and operates in Britain as the charity Humana. Its pinewood clothing banks, where people’s cast-offs can be donated to help the Third World”, are a familiar sight on street corners in towns and cities. But the clothes are Bold to swell bank accounts in Jersey, Belize in Central America and Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.

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