Sunday, July 15, 2012

Poor Obama. He always has good intentions but things just don’t follow through correctly for him. He donated a large portion of his Nobel Peace Prize money, $100,000 dollars to a charity run by a thief, Greg Mortenson called the Central Asia Institute a non profit. This guy has been proven to spend millions of dollars from the charity on himself and it is disputed that some of the most dramatic and inspiring stories in his books were even true.
It started out all well intentioned, looked really legimate until even Greg’s own board members, staffers , charity watchdogs and former donors were complaining about his ethical practices. All inquieries prooved that this guy is a fraud. It started out real good for his Central Asia Institute but the guy had to be greedy and inflate anything he has done good.
The Institute was dedicated to building schools and promoting education especially for girls in remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sounds great! Except it has been proven that hardly any schools have been built. Greg is also an author that sold his book “Three Cups of Tea” which sold more than 4 million copies and became required reading for United States servicemen bound for Afghanistan. His books have made him a publishing great and he was wanted by many institutions to be their guest speaker at events. After being exposed he abruptly cancelled an event and wouldn’t speak to the investigators. I hate people that hide behind their lawyers who make money from speaking and lecturing and all of a sudden can’t even defend themselves.
He would lecture in front of several thousand people and receive $30,000 per session. He told stories that were heartfelt. In the book he describes how he supposedly in 1993 tried to hike up the world’s tallest mountain K2 to honor his dead sister. How he got lost from his party on the descent and stumbled into a tiny village and was befriended by the people there. He tells of how he discovered 84 children in the back of the village writing their school lessons with sticks in the dust. It is a heartwarming exotic tale that has inspired millions of people to buy his books, and he even duped our President.
Nearly $60 million dollars has been donated to his charity. It is a beautiful story except that it is a lie. Jon Krakauer is also a best selling author who wrote “Into Thin Air and Into The Wild” and was one of Greg’s earliest benefactors. Jon also donated $75,000 to the charity and after a few years Jon also thought that the charity was being mis-managed. Jon learned that Greg didn’t stumble into any village that started his charity story. Mortenson’s own accounts published in newsletters shows him trying to create a school and clinic in Khane not the name of his quoted village in the book. So, Greg writes different accounts of the events in The American Himalayan Foundation publications.
Even photographs he took of himself with villagers in the remote valley of Pakistan are false. Most of his most touching and harrowing tales in the book are greatly exacerbated or just plain false. He wrote about a kidnapping in the book and also made reference to it in his follow up book “Stones into Schools.” His 1996 photograph of his alleged captors turn out to be cousins of people that live there who said they never kidnapped anyone ever.
Until recently no one has even done any checking into the finances of his non profit organization that supposedly builds the schools and funds them which is located in Bozeman, Montana where he lives. The charity took in $23 million dollars in contributions in 2010 some of it from thousands of school kids that donated their lunch money in jars that said “Pennies for Peace.” He is one greedy guy to take money from kids too.
Ironically, his charity has been around for 14 years and was hardly ever investigated. There is the AIP the American Institute of Philanthropy a charity watch dog group that investigated that he spent charity money on private jets, advertising for his lectures and books, more money than any spent on schools or books for the children. The charity received little or no income from the sales of his books or from his speaking engagements. He listed $1.7 Million spent in book -related expenses that included private jet transportation and represents more than they spent on schools in Pakistan.
Obama, you have a good heart and always wants to do well for our country but at least investigate where you donate your money and make sure it is a legitimate fair charity.

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