Comment to an article on bullying

The Sunday Times (London), 25 August 2019, published an article about bullying:

Fresh complaints over ‘toxic’ workplace culture at Edinburgh University vet school

This is a follow-up on an article published earlier this month Edinburgh University vet school ‘run like the Stasi’, in which Andrew Brown, a senior lecturer, was quoted to have written in his letter to the head of the University’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, “I have worked at several universities in my career, and never have I encountered the degree of bullying, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination that I have here. The atmosphere is utterly toxic, and everyone is scared to say anything in case it is heard and reported . . . it is like working with the East German Stasi.”

One person quoted in last Sunday’s article said “Bullying and harassment are threats to basic health and safety and cannot be tolerated.”

Here is the comment I published under the latest article.

“This is a very important problem that does not receive enough attention.

In my case, my entire family was targeted in a coordinated bullying across different institutions in Poland. I guess you can call it state-sponsored bullying. In this case the state looks less like the the word “the state” suggests and instead functions more like a criminal organisation based on threats and coercion. Losing one’s job is a powerful threat.

The law was being violated openly and nobody cared. Among many things, examination grades were falsified at the university, where I worked and at the school of music, where my wife worked. When we notified the prosecutor’s office for the first time our daughter was attacked immediately in her elementary school.

There was a whole campaign of social violence against us. It was always there but it became extremely intense in 2011 and continues to this day. We were both fired in 2015. In my wife’s case a false medical statement was fabricated claiming she could not continue in her job of a pianist and piano teacher. She was the most successful member of the 18-member piano section in her school.

The top authorities, including four prime ministers, two presidents, numerous ministers and MPs have received very detailed information. Also many media received information from us but remained silent.

Bullying is a form of coercive control. It may be perpetrated not only by more powerful and privileged individuals but also by well organised groups, thus becoming a form of organised crime.

@LechSBorkowski”

There is, of course, a huge difference between the UK and Poland. In the UK, like in most western countries’, bullying is usually a local affair. In Poland, bullying and harassment is highly organised and is an indispensable part of the system.

I went twice to the Poznań office of Gazeta Wyborcza, the daily with the largest circulation, in Poland in 2012. I told them about my experience at the Adam Mickiewicz University. They completely ignored what I told them. This is perfectly logical, as media in Poland are part of the oppressive system.