[permaculture] Answering questions about credentials

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Wed Dec 16 17:48:09 EST 2009

Wish that I could agree with you Linda but I do not believe the more the
word gets out the better the world.  Look at the words "Green" or
"Sustainable" they have been totally hijacked by corporate America and have
been rendered meaningless.  What does "natural" mean?

I believe that we live in an incredibly predacious capitalist culture that
is always looking to benefit from others hard work.  In order to keep
permaculture a meaningful endeavor we have to be vigilant in our protection
of it as an ethical system.

What's to be cautious about letting people know who your teachers are??  All
educational institutions do that.  We certainly do.

I didn't use snail mail but did use email which I usually do for a simple
inquiry.  I guess I would phone if I was asking for money or their social
security number but to ask a question I don't feel it is necessary.  

As far as Biodynamic and Seedsavers exchange those were both instances of
intra organizational problems not coming from the outside.

Your imagination of me approaching anyone with a "who the hell of you" is a
little presumptuous.  I appreciate your need to keep everything on a love
and light level but that isn't the reality within which I exist.

Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of
LINDARAY at att.net
Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:24 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Answering questions about credentials

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

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
> it upon themselves to protect the integrity of our discipline by
> 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
> 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
> that would be helpful and would certainly make me far more willing to
> 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
> I am asking because it is sometimes the case that people and organizations

> use permaculture and permaculture design course without having any
> or self education in permaculture. As we are a permaculture institute 
> established by myself and Bill Mollison in 1997 to protect the integrity
> permaculture education and practice we are often contacted by people who
> interested in taking a permaculture course asking for our opinion of
> offered or design competence. 
> Unfortunately as permaculture has become more well known and accepted by
> 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
> 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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