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Rune Fardal (1959–) is a Norwegian conspiracy theorist, crackpot anti-feminist men's rights activist and "anti-globalist" who has lately turned to the Christian right, despite not showing any previous interest in religion. He is described as one of the most
prominent notorious/ruthless activists against child welfare services in Norway. He also falsely claims to be a "doctor" and "psychologist" despite having no relevant qualifications, has served time in prison for harassment and fraud, and likes to diagnose his opponents with personality disorders. The latter habit is the result of his own traumatic experience of being diagnosed as such by real doctors and psychologists. Didrik Søderlind, an adviser with the Norwegian Humanist Association, has described Fardal as a "celebrity" among extremists in Norway.
From anti-feminist to full-blown conspiracy nut
Fardal initially became known for his anti-feminist activism on the Internet from around 2000. His crusade against women was triggered by his divorce which he has documented extensively on the Internet and given the name "the Kvam Affair" (Kvam-saken). Over time he evolved into a full-blown conspiracy nut involved with all the main anti-government conspiracy theory movements in Norway. He has been convicted of harassment, fraud and forgery on at least three occasions (2004, 2016 and 2019), and has served time in prison. He made a name for himself by harassing random child welfare services employees on the Internet, which earned him national media attention for the first time in the early 2000s.
Fardal was part of the ensemble cast of conspiracy nuts that formed the short-lived, so-called "Norwegian Parliament's rule of law group" unilaterally appointed by far-right MP Ulf Leirstein, who was later booted from Fremskrittspartiet; the group was widely described as a conspiracy theory group and was dissolved days after its creation after Leirstein had faced massive criticism for associating with conspiracy nuts and abusing the parliament's name.
He also claims to be both a "doctor" and a "psychologist" and presents himself as an expert on narcissism and psychopathy, despite having no qualifications in psychology or any other field; he is known for always diagnosing his opponents in Internet debates with personality disorders. In his actual professional life he ran a one-man business that built floating docks until he was convicted of fraud and barred from running an independent business.
Following his most recent legal troubles he has aligned himself with the Christian right, despite not showing any previous interest in religion and even ridiculing Christians on occasion. He has started his own Facebook-based "TV channel" called Familiekanalen (The Family Channel) where he interviews (at length) conspiracy nuts and activists against child welfare services, and solicits financial help from fellow conspiracy nuts. He has also voiced his support for the right-wing governments of Poland and Hungary. He was also a local candidate for the fringe, Christian fundamentalist party "The Christians". Fardal is active in the alt-right men's rights group MannsForum, whose leader has praised him in glowing terms.
Rune Fardal on Rune Fardal
Rune Fardal once had a website where he introduced himself in this way:
“”Hi! My name is Rune Fardal and I was given the diagnosis PSYCHOPATH! ... moreover, I was both selfish, dominant, manipulative ... I got the diagnosis from Doctor [redacted] who works at [redacted] Medical Center in Bergen. The claim / diagnosis appeared in a report written by "specialist" in clinical psychology, [redacted], in Bergen
|—This is how Rune Fardal used to introduce himself on his own website|
Fardal since deleted the above presentation. By all accounts, his experience of being diagnosed as a psychopath by real doctors and psychologists triggered his later habit of always diagnosing his opponents as psychopaths, and falsely presenting himself as a doctor and psychologist.
- His Wikipedia biography (in Norwegian)
- PDK-politiker dømt for hets: Andrekandidat Rune Fardal for Partiet De Kristne (PDK) i Øygarden ble i sommer dømt for ærekrenkelser. [The Christians politician convicted of harassment: Candidate number two Rune Øygard of The Christians in Øygarden was convicted of defamation last summer], Bergensavisen, 5 September 2019 (Article posted on Twitter in full) [quote: "Andrekandidat Rune Fardal for Partiet De Kristne i Øygarden ble i sommer dømt for ærekrenkelser. 60-åringen ble i 2016 også dømt for regnskapsforsømmelser og dokumentforfalskning [...] Våren 2016 ble han dømt for å ha mottatt 550 000 kroner fra Kystkultursenteret for en bølgebryter han hadde solgt til noen andre. I samme rettsprosess ble han også dømt til fengsel for overtredelse av ligningsloven og regnskapsloven, samt for forfalskning av et vitnemål fra videregående skole. [...] I 2004 ble han dømt til 105 dager i fengsel. I 2016 ble dommen på 120 dagers fengsel"]
- Asle Hansen et al. (28 April 2017) "Rune (58) har jobbet mot barnevernet i over ti år" [Rune (58) has fought the child welfare services for over ten years]. Dagbladet.
- "Har Rune Fardal kompetanse?" [Does Rune Fardal have any qualifications?]
- Hetses på nett, VG, 16. jan. 2005 «Dialog er mitt viktigste budskap, sier Rune Fardal (46) til VG. Han er for tiden psykologistudent i Bergen, og samtidig redaktør for websiden som omfatter et nettverk kalt «Gruppen til Familiens Selvstendige Rett».»
- - Psykologer kan gi barna til psykopat-forelder Dagbladet
- Twitter thread on Rune Fardal (archived) by Didrik Søderlind (Norwegian Humanist Association)
- "Samler info om ansatte." Klassekampen. 14 October 2004.
- "Konspirasjonsgruppe på Tinget" [Conspiracy group in parliament]. Vepsen (magazine affiliated with the skeptical movement in Norway).
- Gunnar Tjomlid: "Ulf Leirstein og Rettssikkerhetsgruppen - ikke så uskyldig". 14 October 2014
- Øivind Bergh: "En trussel mot rettssikkerheten". 21 December 2017.
- Kjetil Thue/MannsForum (26 November 2016): "Rune Fardal er et fremragende eksempel på mot, utholdenhet og verdighet - som gir vissheten om at du ikke er alene, og inspirasjon til alle oss fedre som søker rettferdighet for våre barn" [Rune Fardal is an outstanding example of courage, perseverance and dignity - reassuring us that we are not alone and inspiring all of us fathers who seek justice for our children]
- Screenshot of Fardal tweet