[permaculture] Answering questions about credentials

LINDARAY at att.net LINDARAY at att.net
Wed Dec 16 13:24:07 EST 2009

Hi Scott,

I do understand why they might be cautious, and while I think it's a shame they probably have to be, I certainly don't blame them for it. It would be interesting to read the first letter you wrote them.

After watching the Biodynamic bunch (several years ago) and the Seedsavers Exchange get hijacked, who knows what's coming over the horizon next.

They can't tell whether to expect a handshake or a lawsuit from you, so they are well justified in being cautious. You have sent them a letter on paper on letterhead, right? A phone call would have been less threatening, and gotten your answers for you without the delay of snailmail. Someone *who wants to know you* would call. Someone who's documenting something would send a written letter.

If my first contact with a new neighbor were a written letter, I'd think something was wrong with them too.

There's a difference between someone introducing themselves and extending the hand of friendship, and sending them a written inquiry wanting to know 'who the h_ll are *you*, and justify to me whether or not you're legitimate'.

They're probably just folks who are trying to do good work, and don't want to get embroiled in a monumental and counterproductive waste of time dealing with expensive litigation from out-of-the-blue, instead of the work they meant to do in the first place. 

I can't speak for them and am not trying to, just giving you my perspective on it.

Myself, I'm glad more folks are out there spreading the word for Permaculture, as no doubt you are also doing.. Makes your work easier too.

The more the word gets out, the better a world we have.


Save the Earth, it's the only planet with chocolate... 

-------------- Original message from "Scott Pittman" <scott at permaculture.org>: -------------- 

> I sent an email to Common Circle Education and asked them about their 
> instructors and who taught their instructors. I received a very cautious 
> reply and hope to hear more. 
> I find myself doing this more and more and wish that more pc graduates took 
> it upon themselves to protect the integrity of our discipline by questioning 
> unknown teachers and organizations. I certainly don't mine when people 
> contact me questioning my bonafides. 
> Scott Pittman 
> Director 
> Permaculture Institute 
> www.permaculture.org 
> ____________________________________________________________________________ 
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Vladislav - Common Circle [mailto:info at commoncircle.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:58 PM 
> To: scott at permaculture.org 
> Subject: Re: Site Contact Form {5SYQG} 
> Hello Scott, 
> I am quite curious about the nature of your request and the claim of 
> 'legitimacy'. Could you please give me a bit more information as to the 
> nature of these requests? 
> As you are no doubt aware, anyone who does a PDC class is allowed to teach 
> permaculture under the guidelines set out by Bill Mollison; so your 
> question about our 'legitimacy' is curious. 
> I hold several PDC certificates, one from Bill Mollison directly and we have 
> some really well-known instructors who teach for us (I do not teach 
> directly). We do things very differently than any other permaculture 
> training center out there -- we're truly committed to taking this work 
> mainstream and really reach audiences that traditionally aren't reached by 
> this knowledge. 
> If you can provide me with more information as to the nature of the request 
> that would be helpful and would certainly make me far more willing to answer 
> your questions. 
> With gratitude, 
> Vladislav 
> -- 
> Vladislav Davidzon 
> Common Circle Education 
> www.commoncircle.com 
> Just as you are curious I am also curious why a simple question of who are 
> your instructors and who were there instructors is such a daunting inquiry. 
> I am asking because it is sometimes the case that people and organizations 
> use permaculture and permaculture design course without having any training 
> or self education in permaculture. As we are a permaculture institute 
> established by myself and Bill Mollison in 1997 to protect the integrity of 
> permaculture education and practice we are often contacted by people who are 
> interested in taking a permaculture course asking for our opinion of courses 
> offered or design competence. 
> Unfortunately as permaculture has become more well known and accepted by the 
> mainstream we find that there are more and more bottom feeders moving in 
> with dollar signs in their eyes. This is far from the permaculture 
> developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. As a student of Bill 
> Mollison I am sure that you too are concerned. 
> Since I had never heard of you organization I have been unable to assure 
> people of your integrity based on educational background and certification. 
> In our own educational programs we are insisting on our teachers having a 
> diploma as well as a certificate or that at least a diplomat oversees the 
> program. 
> I hope this answers your questions and look forward to hearing from you. 
> Sincerely, 
> Scott Pittman 
> Director 
> Permaculture Institute 
> www.permaculture.org 
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