Original / Deutsch
Not all those who claim to be scholars actually are. For around two years now, in Germany, in Switzerland, and probably in other European countries, Daniel Winter has been leading seminars in the esoteric field on the theme of Sacred Geometry, or taking part in esoteric conferences by giving lectures in person. Winter likes to stress his academic background, and puts himself forward, for example, in the advance notices of his seminars in journals, just as on his homepage, as 'Doctor of the University of Detroit', as having formerly collaborated with IBM and the MIT Space Laboratories, and as having worked together with Buckminster Fuller and other famous scientists -- but absolutely none of this is true! Winter has testified on oath in court that he possesses no kind of academic, technical, or medical qualifications or titles, and that he discontinued his university studies.
Here follows some background on this clumsy piece of charlatanry. Dan Winter was convicted by several courts in the USA, including the US Federal Court and the US Bankruptcy Court of North Carolina, for representing as his own work the work of various scholars, among others the research of Stan Tenen on the Hebrew alphabet, which constitutes an act of plagiarism, and in addition for adulterating the contents [of the other scholars' work]. Moreover, Winter published under his own name and sold for profit the works of these scholars in the form of books, CD-Roms and videos. The court therefore sentenced him after a number of trials to pay more than $100,000 compensation plus legal costs to the parties affected,1 and furthermore confirmed in writing that he was guilty of 'malicious behaviour with criminal intent'.2 That happened several years ago, and yet Winter has still not paid a single dollar3 -- on the putative grounds that he has no income.
Since things became too hot for Winter in the USA, he now pursues his mischievous activities in Europe. Over and over again he contrives to convince seminar organizers of his supposed scholarly competence, and to persuade them to offer seminars in the esoteric field -- from which there is no doubt that he receives an income. Although some German seminar organizers have already been warned that they are acting as accessories to Winter's plagiarism and to the dissemination of flawed scholarship if they offer seminars of this kind, it seems that making a profit, in their estimation also, is more important than intellectual integrity, or the 'joint liability' for the dissemination of intellectual property whose ownership is in doubt.
In the Winter seminars, which represent a bizarre high-speed romp through all the esoteric disciplines -- from Sacred Geometry, DNA, the Holy Grail, Buckminster Fuller, extraterrestrials, and Free Energy, to nutrition and spirituality -- participants are confronted again and again with the matter of follow-up literature relating to the themes addressed. So it isn't surprising that in the course of the last year Winter almost managed to get a German publisher to take on a book project, even though the American court had strictly forbidden him to publish any such materials. As it happened, the German publisher became aware of the court's judgment in the nick of time, and withdrew.
For some time now a warrant made out against Dan Winter has been on file in the US Federal Court in Rochester, New York. We can therefore not rule out the possibility that Winter will vanish from sight somewhere in Europe or Australia, so as to escape arrest: for otherwise he will be arrested by the police upon arrival at any New York airport.4
I should add that Winter's homepage www.danwinter.com was closed down in accordance with a court ruling. Until a year ago Winter was disseminating from this website plagiarized intellectual property with a more or less scholarly / esoteric background, and he was using his homepage as an information source in his seminars. For some time now, in place of this, under www.danwinter.com, it has been possible for everyone to consult the USA court judgments against Dan Winter in their original wording.
Nonetheless, and sad to report, Winter is not complying with the court orders. Quite recently, with the help of various European operators, using other domain names, he has opened homepages with the same plagiarized contents. By moving his activities to Europe he is trying to escape the reach of the American courts. A certain German operator was informed in writing about the disregard for copyright and the questionable content of the Winter website, but chose to ignore the facts.
Those who organize and even attend seminars
should be expressly warned against offering events to Dan Winter, or taking
part in them. In addition, one should not take the contents of his homepages
too literally, for given his lack of basic academic training many of his
supposedly scholarly findings will appear in false or distorted versions,
while their real authors or sources will not be mentioned. Anyone who is
interested in the themes which Winter offers should try to find other,
serious sources of information or seminars, such as Tattva Viveka.
1The Federal Court and the Bankruptcy court awarded the Tenens and Meru Foundation court costs for two separate actions. Meru and the Tenens did not sue for damages. Including interest, the amount Mr. Winter owes the Tenens and Meru Foundation is now over $120,000.
2"Willful and malicious" is the precise legal term in English used by the Federal Court.
3Mr. Winter paid $10,000 of the original $85,000 judgment against him directly to the Tenens' and Meru Foundation's attorney, at the close of court in 1998. He has paid nothing since.
4In fact, Mr. Winter will be arrested by the US Marshal's Service if and when he enters the United States via any US airport, or other border crossing, and transported to Rochester, NY.
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