This is another one of my long posts. Sorry. But, I thought it was very important to get this cleared up once and for all. It never ceases to amaze me how people continue to trust and believe in the lies these people sell them. I know that many people, especially US Citizens, are naturally loving and giving. They have a strong desire to provide care and support for those in need. GOD puts that in your heart. But, GOD did not intend for you to fulfill that desire by simply sending money to CORPORATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS. Yes, I know that you believe that your money an do more good when it is joined with the donations of others…but THAT IS UNFORTUNATELY NOT THE CASE. When you send money or goods to ORGANIZED CHARITIES only a very TINY portion of your gift ever gets to the people or places you intended.
LOVE…ALL LOVE, comes from GOD. The desire in your heart to spread that LOVE is designed to bring people together. To UNITE US IN LOVE. When you are moved to help, go and find someone that NEEDS HELP and HELP THEM. In whatever way you are able, or in whatever way the help is needed. You will find that YOU are blessed nearly as much, sometimes more than the person you are helping. Why? Because your SPIRIT is fulfilled. The love in your heart EXPANDS. You become more connected to your fellow human beings.
When you finish reviewing this POST, I will be amazed if you can ever be motivated to give to Organized “Charities” again.
Money and Power Corrupt.
Charity has become big business. We are not just talking about the major “Charitable Organizations” or the Biggest “Philanthropist. Anyone at any level can win big in the Charity business. If you want to pay for your kids college you can set them up with a 501c3 Organization at a very young age. Just find a cause… any old cause, and file. They only have donate 2% of any funds donated to qualify. Or, you can open a thrift store. Set up a box for donations and sell them at whatever price you please. I learned that as a young single mom looking for an honest days work. Responding to an ad from a “Charitable Organization” I got a real education on how all that works, before the interview was over. The gentleman who placed the ad became a millionaire showing other people how to get become millionaires by starting a charity.
I can’t tell you how many “Churches” I have come across that are truly just a front for multimillion dollar enterprises. Many of them so corrupt, the pastor should be hanging their head in shame. That is just the problem, in our modern society, people know no shame. They feel no remorse for their evil deeds. They will rip off little grandmothers to stuff their coffers without batting an eye.
The practice of charity means the voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a humanitarian act. There are a number of philosophies about charity, often associated with religion. Effective altruism is the use of evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to help others. The word charity originated in late Old English to mean a “Christian love of one’s fellows,” and up until at least the beginning of the 20th century, this meaning remained synonymous with charity. Aside from this original meaningcharity is etymologically linked to Christianity, with the word originally entering into the English language through the Old French word “charité“, Wikipedia
1. benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.”
2. generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need.”
char·i·ty – noun – /ˈCHerədē/
1. an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.
2. the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus was stating very clearly that ALL the Commandments and ALL that has been revealed to us is based on LOVE.. LOVE of GOD and LOVE of one another.
The true value of charity is lost on today’s postmodern society. Charity has become another way to beat the system and get something for nothing. The exact opposite of its original purpose.
Where did it go wrong? When we let the government get involved. The lure of the taxfree status has totally corrupted every source of charity, from the smallest to the largest.
The only way to restore CHARITY to our world is to STOP giving to ORGANIZED CHARITIES. IF you want to express your love for your fellowman, do it face to face. There are plenty of people, right in your own area, that NEED HELP or just NEED LOVE. Find some one to serve and serve them.
Calling Out Phony Philanthropists
Anand Giridharadas says a lot of do-gooders are phonies.
He first made this charge three years ago at an Aspen Institute gathering of “entrepreneurial leaders” taking on “the world’s most intractable challenges,” as the think tank put it. In truth, Giridharadas said, almost all of the people in the room — including him — were fooling themselves. They might be doing noble work, but they were ducking society’s real problems.
If that speech was the equivalent of a prosecutor filing charges, Giridharadas has now, three years later, delivered his full indictment. His new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, is a condemnation of the monied elites who he says dictate the terms of modern philanthropy — terms that much of the charity world has embraced or at least silently acquiesced to.
Their preferred solutions to today’s historic inequalities are balm and Band-Aids, not the radical, government-directed surgery that’s needed, he argues. That’s because elites are, consciously or unconsciously, using philanthropy to shore up the very status quo that has made them economic winners.
Giridharadas, a journalist who was educated in exclusive private universities (Harvard and Oxford) and briefly worked as a McKinsey consultant, counts himself as an elite …
These sympathetic, if pointed, portraits contrast with Giridharadas’s denunciation of “swashbuckling” billionaire philanthropists who present themselves as society’s saviors yet fight the taxes, regulation, and government efforts that would fix the economy’s structural issues — and hurt their bank accounts. “Today’s elite may be among the more socially concerned in history,” he writes. “But it is also … among the more predatory in history.”
That didn’t happen naturally. The economy was set up in a way to benefit the elite through tax policies that were fought for, through regulatory policies that were fought for, through labor and wage policies that were fought for.It was set up to ensure that when progress rained on America, the very fortunate would harvest most of the rainwater.
MarketWorld is a broad class of the winners of our age who seek to both do well and do good, but it also has an interwoven set of institutions — from Goldman Sachs and McKinsey to the Clinton Foundation to George Soros’s foundation to Silicon Valley tech companies — that say they’re changing the world. It is anyone who is endeavoring to make the world a better place while protecting their opportunity to make a killing. Anyone who is seeking to change the world while also keeping it the same enough to keep themselves on top.
… I think they are generally motivated by money. I think they are heavily into making more money. I think they understand that a certain amount of giving lubricates the machinery that allows them to keep doing what they’re doing.
The Rockefeller story provides an instructive template for this vision of tycoon-turned-philanthropist. When Rockefeller faced a public backlash, he helped spearhead the creation of a system of private foundations that connected in with his business interests. Leveraging his unprecedented oil monopoly fortune into unprecedented control over wide swaths of public life, Rockefeller was able to kill two birds with one stone: molding society in his family’s own interests, even as he became a beloved figure in the public imagination.
Similarly, Bill Gates has leveraged his software empire into a global health, development and education empire, steering the course of investment and research and ensuring healthy markets for vaccines and other immunization products. And, like Rockefeller, Gates has been transformed from the feared and reviled head of a formidable hydra into a kindly old man generously giving his wealth back to the public.
But not everyone has been taken in by this PR trick. Even The Lancet observed this worrying transformation from software monopolist to health monopolist back in 2009, when the extent of this Gates-led monopoly was becoming apparent to all:
Gates is held up as a hero for donating $35.8 billion worth of his Microsoft stock to the foundation, but during the course of his “Decade of Vaccines,” Gates’ net worth has actually doubled, from $54 billion to $103.1 billion. Source
The Flu World Order – Eric Dubay (Documentary Video). Awesome Video Proving That This Scam Was All Planned!
The wealth of 99% of the world has been given to the 1% as a result of this scamdemic just as planned!
SERGEANT MAJOR’S TRUTHER INFO
Eric Dubay on The Atlantean Conspiracy
Note: The SERGEANT MAJOR’S TRUTHER INFO group with 33,500 members was deleted by FaceBook/Government on 01/24/20. The SERGEANT MAJOR’S TRUTHER INFO channel with 50,000 subscribers was deleted by YouTube/Government on 02/14/20.
“The 5 rules to AWAKENING: Rule #1 – Everything you were ever taught is a lie by design; Rule #2 – governments lie 100% of the time, they always have, and they always will; Rule #3 – the Illuminati controlled mainstream media is not reality, but rather is lies, disinformation, half-truths, and fake events carried out by gov/media hired crisis actors (aka role players); Rule #4 – Spirituality and Reincarnation are reality, whereas religions are simply government crowd control measures; and Rule #5 – this plane(t) called earth is a flat, motionless plane, it is not a spinning ball hurling through outer space. Furthermore, the 4 Sources of Disinformation that are ALWAYS FAKE: government, mainstream media news, matrix sciences, and religions.” — Sergeant Major
TO WATCH THIS VIDEO ON BITCHUTE: CLICK HERE
Last fall, Netflix premiered a three-part documentary that promises viewers a rare look at the inner life of one of history’s most controversial businessmen. Over three hours, Inside Bill’s Brain shows us a rare emotional side to Bill Gates as he processes the loss of his mother and the death of his estranged best friend and Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen.
Mostly, though, the film reinforces the image many of us already had of the ambitious technologist, insatiable brainiac, and heroic philanthropist. Inside Bill’s Brain falls into a common trap: attempting to understand the world’s second-richest human by interviewing people in his sphere of financial influence.
In the first episode, director Davis Guggenheim underlines Gates’s expansive intellect by interviewing Bernie Noe, described as a friend of Gates.
“That’s a gift, to read 150 pages an hour,” says Noe. “I’m going to say it’s 90 percent retention. Kind of extraordinary.”
Guggenheim doesn’t tell audiences that Noe is the principal of Lakeside School, a private institution to which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $80 million. The filmmaker also doesn’t mention the extraordinary conflict of interest this presents: The Gateses used their charitable foundation to enrich the private school their children attend, which charges students $35,000 a year.
The documentary’s blind spots are all the more striking in light of the timing of its release, just as news was trickling out that Bill Gates met multiple times with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to discuss collaborating on charitable activities, from which Epstein stood to generate millions of dollars in management fees. Though the collaboration never materialized, it nonetheless illustrates the moral hazards surrounding the Gates Foundation’s $50 billion charitable enterprise, whose sprawling activities over the last two decades have been subject to remarkably little government oversight or public scrutiny.
While the efforts of fellow billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to use his wealth to win the presidency foundered amid intense media criticism, Gates has proved there is a far easier path to political power, one that allows unelected billionaires to shape public policy in ways that almost always generate favorable headlines: charity.
The result has been a new model of charity in which the most direct beneficiaries are sometimes not the world’s poor but the world’s wealthiest, in which the goal is not to help the needy but to help the rich help the needy.
Through an investigation of more than 19,000 charitable grants the Gates Foundation has made over the last two decades, The Nation has uncovered close to $2 billion in tax-deductible charitable donations to private companies—including some of the largest businesses in the world, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, IBM, and NBC Universal Media—which are tasked with developing new drugs, improving sanitation in the developing world, developing financial products for Muslim consumers, and spreading the good news about this work.
The Gates Foundation even gave $2 million to Participant Media to promote Davis Guggenheim’s previous documentary film Waiting for Superman, which pushes one of the foundation’s signature charity efforts, charter schools—privately managed public schools. This charitable donation is a small part of the $250 million the foundation has given to media companies and other groups to influence the news.
“It’s been a quite unprecedented development, the amount that the Gates Foundation is gifting to corporations…. I find that flabbergasting, frankly,” says Linsey McGoey, a professor of sociology at the University of Essex and author of the book No Such Thing as a Free Gift. “They’ve created one of the most problematic precedents in the history of foundation giving by essentially opening the door for corporations to see themselves as deserving charity claimants at a time when corporate profits are at an all-time high.”
McGoey’s research has anecdotally highlighted charitable grants the Gates Foundation has made to private companies, such as a $19 million donation to a Mastercard affiliate in 2014 to “increase usage of digital financial products by poor adults” in Kenya. The credit card giant had already articulated its keen business interest in cultivating new clients from the developing world’s 2.5 billion unbanked people, McGoey says, so why did it need a wealthy philanthropist to subsidize its work? And why are Bill and Melinda Gates getting a tax break for this donation? (This is part of Bill’s Gavi operation to track immunization records of third world countries. Gates is benefiting from these interactions on so many levels. He and his friends are just pumping up each others wealth.)
The Nation found close to $250 million in charitable grants from the Gates Foundation to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds: Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Sanofi, Ericsson, LG, Medtronic, Teva, and numerous start-ups—with the grants directed at projects like developing new drugs and health monitoring systems and creating mobile banking services. (And Gates is invested in all those products and services that will benefit from those grants.)
The Gates Foundation did not respond to specific questions about its work with the private sector, nor would it provide its own accounting of how much money it has given to for-profit companies, saying that “many grants are implemented through a mixture of non-profit and for-profit partners, making it difficult to evaluate exact spending.”
At business-friendly events, however, Bill Gates openly promotes his foundation’s work with companies. In speeches delivered at the American Enterprise Institute and Microsoft in 2013 and ‘14, he trumpeted the lives his foundation was saving—in one speech he said 10 million, in another 6 million—through “partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.”
Yet the foundation is doing more than simply partnering with companies: It is subsidizing their research costs, opening up markets for their products, and bankrolling their bottom lines in ways that, by and large, have never been publicly examined—even as you and I, dear reader, are subsidizing this work.
By Bill and Melinda Gates’s estimations, they have seen an 11 percent tax savings on their $36 billion in charitable donations through 2018, resulting in around $4 billion in avoided taxes. The foundation would not provide any documentation related to this number, and independent estimates from tax scholars like Ray Madoff, a law professor at Boston College, indicate that multibillionaires see tax savings of at least 40 percent—which, for Bill Gates, would amount to $14 billion—when you factor in the tax benefits that charity offers to the superrich: avoidance of capital gains taxes (normally 15 percent) and estate taxes (40 percent on everything over $11.58 million, which in Gates’s case is a lot).
Madoff, like many tax experts, stresses that these billions of dollars in tax savings have to be seen as a public subsidy—money that otherwise would have gone to the US Treasury to help build bridges, do medical research, or close the funding gap at the IRS (which has resulted in fewer audits of billionaires). If Bill and Melinda Gates don’t pay their full freight in taxes, the public has to make up the difference or simply live in a world where governments do less and less (educating, vaccinating, and researching) and superrich philanthropists do more and more.
Naturally, Big Philanthropy has special interest groups pushing back on the creation of such rules. The Philanthropy Roundtable defends the wealthiest Americans’ “freedom to give,” describing itself as fighting the “increasing pressures from some public officials and advocacy groups to subject private philanthropies to more uniform standards and stricter government regulation.”
At a certain point, however, the Philanthropy Roundtable seems primarily to serve the private interests of billionaires like the Gateses and Koch who use charity to influence public policy, with limited oversight and substantial public subsidies. It’s unclear how the Philanthropy Roundtable’s work contributes to the Gates Foundation’s charitable missions “to help all people live healthy, productive lives” and “to empower the poorest in society so they can transform their lives.”
While there is no credible argument that Bill and Melinda Gates use charity primarily as a vehicle to enrich themselves or their foundation, it is difficult to ignore the occasions where their charitable activities seem to serve mainly private interests, including theirs—supporting the schools their children attend, the companies their foundation partly owns, and the special interest groups that defend wealthy Americans—while generating billions of dollars in tax savings.
Philanthropy has also delivered a public relations coup for Bill Gates, dramatically transforming his reputation as one of the most cutthroat CEOs to one of the most admired people on earth. And his model of charity, influence, and absolution is inspiring a new era of controversial tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, who have begun giving away their billions, sometimes working directly with Gates.
Gates was already one of the richest humans on earth in 2008, but he was also an embattled billionaire, still licking his wounds from a series of legal battles around the monopolistic business practices that made him so extravagantly wealthy—and that compelled Microsoft to pay billions of dollars in fines and settlements.
Gates did not respond to multiple requests for interviews, but in a recent Q&A with The Wall Street Journal, he revisited his legal face-off with antitrust regulators, saying, “I can still explain to you why the government was completely wrong, but that’s really old news at this point. For me personally, it did accelerate my move into that next phase, two to five years sooner, of shifting my focus over to the foundation.”
Gates’s view of Microsoft as the victim of overzealous antitrust regulations may help explain the laissez-faire ethos driving his charitable giving. His foundation has given money to groups that push for industry-friendly government policies and regulation, including the Drug Information Association (directed by Big Pharma) and the International Life Sciences Institute (funded by Big Ag). He has also funded nonprofit think tanks and advocacy groups that want to limit the role of government or direct its resources toward helping business interests, like the American Enterprise Institute ($6.8 million), the American Farm Bureau Foundation ($300,000), the American Legislative Exchange Council ($220,000), and organizations associated with the US Chamber of Commerce ($15.5 million).
Between 2011 and 2014 the Gates Foundation gave roughly $100 million to InBloom, an educational technology initiative that dissolved in controversy around privacy issues and its collection of personal data and information about students. To Diane Ravitch, a professor of education at New York University, InBloom illustrates the way Gates is “working to push technology in classrooms, to replace teachers with computers.”
Education isn’t the only area where Gates’s ideological interests overlap with his financial interests. Microsoft’s bottom line is heavily dependent on patent protections for its software, and the Gates Foundation has been a strong and consistent supporter of intellectual property rights, including for the pharmaceutical companies with which it works closely. These patent protections are widely criticized for making lifesaving drugs prohibitively expensive, particularly in the developing world.
“He uses his philanthropy to advance a pro-patent agenda on pharmaceutical drugs, even in countries that are really poor,” says longtime Gates critic James Love, the director of the nonprofit Knowledge Ecology International. “Gates is sort of the right wing of the public-health movement. He’s always trying to push things in a pro-corporate direction. He’s a big defender of the big drug companies. He’s undermining a lot of things that are really necessary to make drugs affordable to people that are really poor. It’s weird because he gives so much money to [fight] poverty, and yet he’s the biggest obstacle on a lot of reforms.”
The Gates Foundation’s sprawling work with for-profit companies has created a welter of conflicts of interest, in which the foundation, its three trustees (Bill and Melinda Gates and Buffett), or their companies could be seen as financially benefiting from the group’s charitable activities.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has billions of dollars in investments in companies that the foundation has helped over the years, including Mastercard and Coca-Cola. Bill Gates long sat on the board of directors at Berkshire, announcing his departure just last week, and he and his foundation together hold billions of dollars of equity stake in the investment firm.
The foundation’s work also appears to overlap with Microsoft’s, to which Gates, in recent years, has devoted one-third of his workweek. (Gates announced last week he would be stepping down from the company’s board, but remain involved with the company as a technology advisor). The Gates Foundation’s $200 million program to improve public libraries partnered with Microsoft to donate the company’s software, prompting criticism that the donations were aimed at “seeding the market” for Microsoft products and “lubricating future sales.” Elsewhere, Microsoft is investing money studying mosquitoes to help predict disease outbreaks, working with the same researchers as the foundation. Both projects involve creating sophisticated robots and traps to collect and analyze mosquitoes. (They are also researching the ability to spread diseases using robot insects.)
“The foundation and Microsoft are separate entities, and our work is wholly unrelated to Microsoft,” a Gates Foundation spokesperson says.
In 2002, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gates and the Gates Foundation’s endowment made new investments in Cox Communications at the same time that Microsoft was in discussion with Cox about a variety of business deals. Tax experts raised questions about self-dealing, noting that foundations can lose their tax-exempt status if they are found to be using charity for personal gain. The IRS would not comment on whether it investigated, saying, “Federal law prohibits us from discussing specific taxpayers or organizations.”
“It’s hard to draw the line between a) Microsoft; b) his own personal wealth and investment; and c) the foundation,” says consumer advocate Ralph Nader, one of Microsoft’s fiercest critics in the 1990s. “There’s been very inadequate media scrutiny of all that.”
The foundation’s clearest conflicts of interest may be the grants it gives to for-profit companies in which it holds investments—large corporations like Merck and Unilever. A foundation spokesperson said it tries to avoid this kind of financial conflict but that doing so is difficult because its investment and charitable arms are firewalled from one another to keep their activities strictly separate. Bill and Melinda Gates are trustees of both entities, however, making it difficult to draw a sharp line between the two.
And in some places, the Gates Foundation explicitly marries its investing and charitable activities. Gates’s “strategic investment fund,” which the foundation says is designed to advance its philanthropic goals, not to generate investment income, includes a $7 million equity stake in the start-up company AgBiome, whose other investors include the agrochemical companies Monsanto and Syngenta. The foundation also gave the company $20 million in charitable grants to develop pesticides for African farmers. Similarly, the foundation has a $50 million stake in Intarcia and an $8 million investment in Just Biotherapeutics, to which it gave $25 million and $32 million in charitable grants, respectively, for work related to HIV and malaria. At one point, the foundation held a 48 percent stake in an HIV diagnostic company called Zyomyx, to which it previously awarded millions of dollars in charitable grants.
Asked about these apparent conflicts of interest, the foundation says that grants and investments “are simply two tools the foundation uses as appropriate to further its charitable objectives.”
When Gates began his foundation in 1994, he put his father, Bill Gates Sr., in charge. A prominent lawyer in Seattle, Gates Sr. was also a civic leader and, later, a public advocate on issues related to income inequality.
Working with Chuck Collins, an heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune who gave away much of his inheritance during his 20s, Gates Sr. helped organize a successful national campaign in the late 1990s and early 2000s to build political power around preserving the estate tax, the taxes levied against the assets of the wealthy after they die.
In interviews Gates Sr. gave at the time (he has Alzheimer’s disease now and was not contacted for an interview), his advocacy work seemed designed not to generate tax revenues but to inspire philanthropy.
“A wealthy person has an absolute choice as to whether they pay the [estate] tax or whether they give their wealth to their university or their church or their foundation,” he told journalist Bill Moyers.
That’s because when the rich give away their wealth, they reduce the assets that the estate tax targets. But such an arrangement, whereby the wealthiest Americans get to decide for themselves whether they want to pay taxes or donate their money to charity—including to groups that influence government policy—sounds like a peak example of tone-deaf privilege. In many respects, that’s how the tax system works for the superrich.
“The richer you are, the more choice you have between those two,” says Collins, who today works on income inequality at the nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies.
For some billionaire philanthropists, it may be less of a choice than an entitlement. Buffett and Gates have recruited hundreds of millionaires and billionaires to sign the Giving Pledge, a promise to donate most of their wealth to charity, which some signatories explicitly cite as an alternative to paying taxes.
According to Collins, Bill Gates Sr. had a nuanced view that included limiting billionaires’ tax benefits.
“He said to me…it’s a problem that his son is going to give—at the time, it was like $80 billion—to the foundation and never have to pay taxes on any of that wealth,” Collins recalls. “His view was that there should be a cap on the lifetime amount of wealth that could be given to charity where you get a deduction.”
Around the time that Collins and Gates Sr. were putting pressure on Congress to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, the younger Gates was running a multinational company aggressively looking for tax breaks. According to the assessor’s office for King County, which includes Seattle, Microsoft has filed 402 appeals on its property taxes. Likewise, a 2012 Senate investigation examined Microsoft’s aggressive use of offshore subsidiaries to save the company billions of dollars in taxes. And The Seattle Times reported that Microsoft spent decades creating lucrative, tax-reducing barriers around corporate profits.
Bill Gates, nevertheless, has managed to become a leading—and seemingly progressive—public voice on tax policy. Every year around tax time, he and Buffett make media appearances decrying how little they pay in taxes, calling on Congress to raise taxes on the wealthy. At times, however, they advocate policies that may not actually touch their wealth, such as promoting the estate tax, which they will likely avoid through charitable donations.
Gates, along with a growing chorus of billionaires, has also used his public platform to push back on a proposed wealth tax, supported by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. A wealth tax would take a percentage of a billionaire’s assets every year, limiting the accumulation of wealth—and possibly the amount of money spent on philanthropy. Gates counters that charity work reduces income inequality.
“Philanthropy done well not only produces direct benefits for society, it also reduces dynastic wealth,” he wrote on his blog, GatesNotes.
When the Gates foundation has faced criticism in regard to its endowment—including investments in prisons, fast food, the arms industry, pharmaceutical companies, and fossil fuels—conflicting with its charitable mission to improve health and well-being, Gates has pushed back in black-and-white terms, calling divestment a “false solution” that will have “zero” impact.
The Gates Foundation’s investments are not an insignificant part of its charitable efforts. Its $50 billion endowment has generated $28.5 billion in investment income over the last five years. During the same period, the foundation has given away only $23.5 billion in charitable grants.
In 2007, in one of the few investigative journalism series ever published about the foundation, the Los Angeles Times profiled the foundation’s investments in mortgage lenders involved in subprime loans and for-profit hospitals accused of performing unneeded surgeries. The Times also noted the foundation’s investments in chocolate companies that depend on cocoa production using child labor.
The Gates Foundation spokesperson says it “does not comment on specific investment decisions or holdings,” but did note that the “sole purpose” of its endowment is “to provide income to support the Foundation’s mission and to be capable to do so over the long term.”
The Gates Foundation’s endowment currently has an $11.5 billion stake in Berkshire Hathaway, which in turn has $32 million invested in the chocolate company Mondelez, which has been criticized in relation to the use of child labor. The foundation made $32.5 million in charitable donations to the World Cocoa Foundation, an industry group whose members include Mondelez, for a project to improve farmer livelihoods. The project doesn’t appear to address child labor.
The tax reform act of 1969 created special rules to limit the influence that wealthy philanthropists could exercise through private foundations—in theory ensuring they produce public benefits rather than serve private interests.
In practice, these rules give wealthy donors like Bill and Melinda Gates enormous latitude in their philanthropic activities. For example, when it comes to self-dealing, the IRS prohibits only the most egregious conflicts of interest, such as foundations awarding grants to companies controlled by board members. Likewise, IRS rules broadly allow charitable donations to for-profit companies, as long as the foundations keep paperwork showing that the money was used to advance their charitable missions.
But because the Gates Foundation views market-based solutions and private-sector innovation as public goods, the line between charity and business can be indistinguishable. Sociologist Linsey McGoey says, “They’ve defined their charitable mission so broadly and loosely that literally any for-profit company could be said to be meeting the Gates Foundation’s general goal of improving social and global well-being.”
The IRS’s oversight of private foundations is constrained by recent budget cuts and its limited mandate to collect taxes from nonprofits like the Gates Foundation, which are largely free from paying them.
“If you’re the IRS commissioner and you’re given a finite sum to spend on the agency, and your job is to make sure the US Treasury has money in it, you are going to give a token nod to tax-exempt organizations,” says Marc Owens, a former director of the IRS’s tax-exempt division who is now in private practice. “One [IRS] agent looking at restaurants in Washington or New York City is going to generate a lot of money…. One agent looking at private foundations will probably pay their salary, but it’s not going to bring in tax dollars.”
According to IRS statistics, there are around 100,000 private foundations in the United States, housing close to $1 trillion in assets. However, foundations generally pay a tax rate of only 1 or 2 percent, and the IRS reports auditing, at most, 263 foundations in 2018.
State attorneys general can exercise oversight of private foundations, as the New York attorney general’s office did in 2018 when it investigated Donald Trump’s private foundation, which shut down amid allegations that he used it for his personal benefit. The Gates Foundation’s location in Seattle gives the state of Washington purview over its charitable work, but the state attorney general’s office there says it did not have full-time staff dedicated to investigating charitable activities until 2014, a decade after the foundation became the largest philanthropy in the world. The Washington AG’s office would not comment on whether it has ever investigated the Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates’s outsize charitable giving—$36 billion to date—has created a blinding halo effect around his philanthropic work, as many of the institutions best placed to scrutinize his foundation are now funded by Gates, including academic think tanks that churn out uncritical reviews of its charitable efforts and news outlets that praise its giving or pass on investigating its influence.
In the absence of outside scrutiny, this private foundation has had far-reaching effects on public policy, pushing privately run charter schools into states where courts and voters have rejected them, using earmarked funds to direct the World Health Organization to work on the foundation’s global health agenda, and subsidizing Merck’s and Bayer’s entry into developing countries. Gates, who routinely appears on the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people, has proved that philanthropy can buy political influence.
Gates’s personal wealth is greater today than ever before, around $100 billion, and at only 64 years of age, he may have decades left to donate this money, picking up a Nobel Prize along the way or—who knows?—a presidential nomination. The same could be said of Melinda Gates, who, at 55, recently took a big step into public life with a highly publicized book tour.
But it’s also possible that a day of reckoning is coming for Big Philanthropy, Bill Gates, and the growing number of billionaires following his footsteps into charity.
Economists, politicians, and journalists continue to put a spotlight on billionaires who aren’t paying their fair share of taxes but who shape politics through campaign contributions and lobbying. Charity is seldom regarded as a tax-avoiding tool of influence, but if income inequality continues to gain attention, there is simply no way to avoid asking tough questions of Big Philanthropy. Do billionaire philanthropists have too much power, with too little public accountability or transparency? Should the wealthiest Americans have carte blanche to spend their wealth any way they want?
It may seem like a radical proposition to challenge the ability or desire of multibillionaires to give away their fortunes, but such scrutiny has a historical precedent in mainstream politics. One hundred years ago, when oil baron John D. Rockefeller asked Congress to provide him with a charter to start a private foundation, his ambitions were soundly rejected as an anti-democratic power grab. As Theodore Roosevelt said at the time, “No amount of charities in spending such fortunes can compensate in any way for the misconduct in acquiring them.”
Losing tax-exempt status freed his foundation from disclosure requirements, allowing Mr. Epstein to exaggerate his giving — like in a wildly overstated Wikipedia entry.
Jeffrey Epstein’s foundation looked for all the world like a charitable powerhouse: On its websites and in its press releases, the foundation was described as a patron of hospitals, universities and film festivals, run by a global philanthropist.
The organization — known by various names, but usually called the J. Epstein Virgin Islands Foundation — wasn’t officially a charity for much of its existence, having lost its tax-exempt status in 2008.
But it worked to his advantage, helping improve the reputation of Mr. Epstein, a convicted sex offender.
A review of tax documents, government records and information provided by federal officials shows that the foundation lost its tax-exempt status for an unknown reason in the same year Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor.
In the years between that case and his suicide in August as he faced federal sex-trafficking charges, Mr. Epstein was unshackled from the rigorous financial disclosures that charities are supposed to file every year with the government — allowing him to exaggerate his philanthropy as he sought to rebuild his reputation.
The foundation’s portrayals of its giving ranged from simple embellishment to staggering overstatement.
Eighteen years of financial statements show that just under $20 million flowed into the foundation since it was founded in 2000. Roughly $16.6 million was spent on donations and grants; most of the rest paid unspecified “general and administrative” expenses and $1.5 million in interest for what appears to be an undisclosed debt.
The documents, which were filed with the Virgin Islands Division of Corporations and Trademarks, do not offer details about where the money came from or ended up. That information would be contained in the public document, Form 990, that charities are required to file each year with the Internal Revenue Service. But there is just one publicly available Form 990 from the foundation — a single-page filing in 2002 — and it does not include any information on grants or donations.
Mr. Epstein’s websites portrayed the foundation as an organization with high standards and high aspirations for changing the world. A page from one site described a multistage grant process that asked applicants to describe how their project was innovative, the “pressing need” it would address and an explanation of how they would evaluate their results.
The page, from 2010, also said it was “vital to understand” that the foundation and another run by Mr. Epstein were not “piggy banks.”
But that is the term that Martin Sheil, a retired supervisory special agent with the criminal investigations division of the I.R.S., used to describe the foundation. Its lack of disclosures, he said, “could be an overt act of concealment.”
It is not clear if such misrepresentations amounted to a crime. False statements meant to fraudulently solicit donations are illegal and generally prosecuted by state attorneys general.The New York State attorney general’s office began inquiring in 2015 whether the foundation, which said on one of its sites that it had offices in Manhattan and the Virgin Islands, needed to register as a charity in New York. Mr. Epstein’s longtime lawyer, Darren Indyke, replied that the site was inaccurate and that the foundation was operated out of an office in St. Thomas.
The foundation was set up as part of Mr. Epstein’s participation in a lucrative program in the Virgin Islands that offered big tax breaks to his businesses — Financial Trust and Southern Trust — in return for a philanthropic commitment to charities in the territory. One of Mr. Epstein’s sales pitches to his wealthy clients was offering tax advantage strategies that sometimes included charitable giving.
Reports from the agency that approved the tax incentive show the foundation made more than $1.8 million in donations to charities, educational scholarships and symposiums there. In an emailed statement, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority said the foundation was established “primarily for the purpose of making charitable contributions to the Virgin Islands community.”
But public records show it also carried out some unusual transactions.
In 2017, the foundation, also known as Enhanced Education, cut a check for $160,000 to pay fines Mr. Epstein incurred for permit violations at his private islands. Its funds also backed the causes of political officials in the Virgin Islands, including up to $30,000 to support a computer giveaway by an elected official. The foundation also contributed tens of thousands of dollars to other groups, including the territory’s chamber of commerce.
Federal investigators have taken an interest in the foundation. In August, the F.B.I. contacted the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources about the payment to resolve the permit violations. Agents asked whether the department had a policy prohibiting a charitable foundation from paying the penalty, said Jamal Nielsen, a spokesman for the department. He said the contribution did not violate any department rules.The F.B.I. in New York declined to comment, citing an “ongoing investigation.”
The scant filings by Mr. Epstein’s foundation, he said, showed a “lack of transparency.”
And over the years, Mr. Epstein operated at least three other charities, including one based in the Virgin Islands. (Mr. Indyke, his lawyer, long served as an officer for Mr. Epstein’s charities and other businesses.)
Two of Mr. Epstein’s foundations relied on wealthy business titans to provide millions in seed capital. His C.O.U.Q. foundation received about $21 million in stock and cash from charities of Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire retail magnate whose company owns Victoria’s Secret. Mr. Epstein’s Gratitude America foundation received a $10 million donation in 2015 from a company tied to the private equity billionaire Leon D. Black.
Mr. Epstein’s other foundations complied with federal disclosure rules, making his namesake foundation the outlier.
“It doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Mr. Sheil, the retired I.R.S. special agent.
After his 2008 conviction, Mr. Epstein took great pains to burnish his reputation — and the foundation played a key role.
In 2013, a Wikipedia user named Turvill made a number of changes to the page for the foundation. The changes included saying the foundation had given more than $200 million to a long list of notable scientists since its inception, then raised its claim further by describing that sum as its approximate annual outlay.The user name’s connection to Mr. Epstein is evident from information he disclosed in New Mexico as a result of his 2008 conviction. He provided a list of online user names, including those used by third-party reputation management services he hired. On that list was a Wikipedia handle, Turville, that does not appear anywhere on the website. But the similar name Turvill does — and that user had a particular focus on editing articles about Mr. Epstein.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most respected higher education institutions in the United States, and until just a few weeks ago, its edgy Media Lab was considered one of the most innovative research programs creating what it calls “disruptive technologies.”
But the $7.5 million in donations it received with the help of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who last month committed suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan prison cell, is the real disruptor.
MIT Media Lab founder and professor Joi Ito has resigned after accepting the donations, as have several other professors connected with the scandal. Some students and faculty are even demanding the ouster of MIT president Rafael Reif. After first denying any involvement with the Epstein money, Reif finally admitted approving the donation—and demanding it be anonymous—then signing a thank you letter to the pedophile.
It’s now debatable whether the Media Lab will survive the scandal, and the cover-up is being widely condemned. “The notion that the way to handle a gift from Epstein was to anonymize it is appalling,” says Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy. “If the instinct is to want to hide something, that’s almost always a sign it’s the wrong thing to do.”
The Epstein MIT scandal is just the most recent—and flagrant—example of the type of toxic philanthropy that increasingly pervades the nonprofit world and threatens to turn it upside down.
In the past, taking tainted money wasn’t particularly controversial, even though those in the nonprofit world knew it could be a way for the wealthy to launder somewhat sordid, even criminal, reputations.
Defenders point to some of the most renowned philanthropists in history—Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Cecil John Rhodes and Alfred Nobel—as men who, during their lifetimes, were often viewed as noxious individuals. Carnegie employed thugs to break strikes by workers in his steel mills, Rockefeller ran a monopoly that the U.S. government dismantled, Rhodes was a British white supremacist and Nobel was a munitions manufacturer.
But a sea change is afoot, with writers such as Anand Giridharadas arguing that all philanthropy is “fake change” and #MeToo victims demanding justice for behavior that was previously swept under the rug. Meanwhile politicians like Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren hope to heavily tax the nation’s wealthiest, arguing that it’s better for much of their fortunes to go to the government to fund social and environmental programs than to put their names on a museum wing, launder their reputations or ease guilty consciences.
The new mood is creating a moment of anxiety for the donor class and has the potential to disrupt the flow of giving. “Is all philanthropy going to be seen as toxic?” asks one billionaire donor who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “If giving money away makes the donor look bad, what donor is going to give money away?”
The definition of a toxic philanthropist is murky, but it typically includes not just those convicted of heinous crimes, whether financial or personal, but also the super wealthy whose business or personal behavior is seen as detrimental to society.
Some even bring up Bill Gates, whose Microsoft Corp. reached a historic settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over antitrust allegations, as someone who has used charity to change his image. If Gates’ behavior was once controversial, “now when we think of Gates, we think of how he brought mosquito nets to Africa,” says Marianne Jennings, a business ethics professor at the University of Arizona.
Jennings lists outsize philanthropic contributions as one of her “seven signs of ethical collapse” among corporate CEOs in a book of the same title. “Corporate fraudsters almost all use philanthropy as a cover. Because of all their goodness, people never look any further,” she says.
That is getting harder to do. Over the past 18 months photographer Nan Goldin, a recovering Oxycontin addict, led protests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and even the Louvre, over the millions the museums have taken from the Sackler family, widely reviled as a key instigator of the opioid crisis through their company, Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin. The company, which just filed for bankruptcy protection, is on the verge of settling a number of government lawsuits against it for $10 billion, and there could be more to come.
Sackler’s donations to the art world have given rise to another term: art washing. Protestors have asked that the museums take the Sackler name off the wings named for them and give the donations to recovery groups. Goldin has identified 23 museums that took the money.
The problem is that all nonprofits, from universities and museums to those working on criminal justice reform and cancer research, are dependent on the rich, and nonprofits spend an inordinate amount of time courting them. Even universities as prestigious as MIT and Harvard are “worried about their rankings, which are related to how much money they raise,” says Buchanan. He argues that nonprofits need to remember that “they’ve got a higher purpose than maximization of revenue.”
Adds Jennings: “You can talk yourself blue in the face how you knew nothing about it. But it almost always hurts the nonprofit.”
Intense media focus on the donations of people such as Epstein and the Sacklers may, at the least, force nonprofits to look more closely before taking money. “As a nonprofit, you have to ask yourself, ‘Would I be embarrassed to have this support?’” says Buchanan. “Are we being used for an objective that is counter to our values? And does the donor expect us to provide them some benefit we’re uncomfortable providing?”
It’s also affecting the larger group of donors who simply want to do good. “If you’re a donor and making a significant gift to an organization, I do think you’d want to know that the leadership lives its values,” says Buchanan. “A reasonable question of any nonprofit director would be, ‘What money won’t you take?’”
Following, in no particular order, are 10 of the most toxic philanthropists of the 21st century.
1 Jeffrey Epstein
The extent of Jeffrey Epstein’s efforts to burnish his image as a do-gooder at the same time he was allegedly sexually abusing dozens of underage girls began to come into public view after his arrest in July for sex trafficking. Epstein was first convicted of sexual offenses in 2008, and before that his most significant philanthropic contribution was $9 million to Harvard University, which recently said it would donate the $186,000 it had not spent to organizations assisting survivors of human trafficking and sexual assault.
After Epstein was released from prison, the sexual predator helped shepherd $7.5 million to MIT, which led to resignations of some people associated with the funding once it was disclosed. Epstein made another anonymous donation to the breast cancer charity that his former girlfriend Eva Dubin—the wife of financier Glenn Dubin—had set up. He gave to other scientific and medical foundations and funded individual scientists’ work. He also served on the board of the family foundation of private equity mogul Leon Black, whose money was part of the $7.5 million he shepherded to MIT.
2 David Koch
David Koch and his brother Charles created and funded a political movement to attack the legitimacy of climate science and roll back environmental laws that would hurt the profits of Koch Industries, their privately held energy and chemicals conglomerate. While engaged in what is literally a toxic political effort, David Koch, who died in August, also had a philanthropic organization that funded climate change denial research.
Worth an estimated $48 billion, David Koch gave $1.2 billion to various other philanthropies, including museums and hospitals. Today his name is plastered on several New York institutions—including the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing at the Museum of Natural History and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, which houses the New York City Ballet. Other recipients were the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Koch died of prostate cancer).
Koch once admitted that having his name on elite art institutions “sent a message” to people who don’t like conservative businessmen. Others call that message “art washing.”
3 The Sackler family
The Sackler family, whose members are currently battling multibillion-dollar lawsuits by states and others over their role in the opioid epidemic, have brought art washing to a new high. In 2007, their privately held company Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, pled guilty to a felony charge of deceiving doctors. But long before that occurred, the Sacklers were giving millions of dollars to museums. At latest count, they’ve donated to 23 cultural museums in the United States, the UK and France.
After a movement led by photographer Nan Goldin, a recovering addict, to expose the contributions, London’s Tate Museum, the Guggenheim in New York and others said they’ll take no more Sackler money. The Louvre has taken the Sackler name off a wing of the museum, though it will remain at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian in Washington and elsewhere. Meanwhile, eight family members involved in ongoing lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and its family owners reached a tentative $10 billion settlement with thousands of municipal governments nationwide and nearly two dozen states just before the company filed for bankruptcy in September. The Sacklers are believed to be worth $13 billion.
4 Harvey Weinstein
In 2017, at least 80 women accused the renowned filmmaker of sexually abusing them, sparking the #MeToo movement. The next year, Harvey Weinstein was indicted on charges of rape and other sexual offenses, but he has not yet gone to trial. The furor surrounding Weinstein led the film company he and his brother cofounded, the Weinstein Company, to file for bankruptcy.
While Weinstein was allegedly preying on women in the film industry, he was also donating millions to various causes, including progressive female politicians. An apparent effort to whitewash his name came when he pledged $5 million to the University of Southern California film school toward a scholarship fund for female filmmakers. The school returned the money after a student protest called it “blood money.” Weinstein also sat on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York charity set up by hedge fund billionaires, but he quit when the allegations of his sexual attacks surfaced.
5 Roger Ailes
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News fired its longtime CEO Roger Ailes in 2016 following an internal investigation of a number of sexual harassment accusations against Ailes from anchors such as Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. Fox settled lawsuits from several women for undisclosed amounts.
As the controversy was unfurling, Ailes’ nonprofit organization, ACI Senior Development, was planning to donate $500,000 toward an elder-care facility in Putnam County, N.Y., where the Ailes lived at the time. Following a newspaper exposé of the project, the county legislature postponed acceptance of the donation, and Ailes canceled it. The controversial project was to bear Roger Ailes’ name, and the contract would have allowed noncompetitive bidding and no legal recourse for employees or contractors. Ailes also made what was termed a “generous” donation to Ohio University’s college of communications, his alma mater. Ailes died in 2017.
6 Bill Cosby
Once a beloved comedian and TV star known as “America’s dad,” Bill Cosby was highly regarded for his generosity to African American causes, including $20 million to Spelman College in Atlanta, in 1988. At the time, it was the largest single donation ever given to a historically black college. Spelman, an all-female school, even endowed a professorship in his name.
More than 60 women accused Cosby of sexual crimes including rape and attempted assault and sexual battery, often with the help of drugs. When those allegations were disclosed in 2015, Spelman killed the fellowship and returned Cosby’s funds. In 2018 Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.
7 Michael Pearson
The former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals is known for leading the company into a series of acquisitions that turned it into a major drug company—one that jacked up the prices on some life-saving drugs to exorbitant levels. While neither Valeant nor Michael Pearson were ever accused of illegal action, the controversy led the company’s high-flying stock to collapse, and Pearson was ousted in 2016 after six years at the helm. The Valeant story was part of the 2018 Netflix documentary series Dirty Money.
Pearson became a billionaire through his Valeant stock gains, and began to share the largesse, becoming one of Duke University’s most generous donors. He donated $15 million to the Duke University School of Nursing on behalf of his wife, a graduate of that school. He also donated $30 million to Duke’s Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School of Engineering, from which he had graduated. In addition, he donated $7.5 million to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
8 Raj Rajaratnam
Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the now-defunct hedge fund Galleon Group, became the biggest hedge fund manager convicted during Preet Bharara’s far-reaching insider trading investigation when he was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. At its peak, Galleon ran $7 billion and was considered one of the hottest hedge funds in the world, with an annualized return of more than 20 percent. Rajaratnam was found guilty of securities fraud in 2011, sentenced to 11 years in prison and released in September.
The recipients of his charity were also controversial. Rajaratnam was an expatriate member of a minority Sri Lankan ethnic and religious group known as Tamils. In November 2009, a month after he was arrested, Rajaratnam pledged $1 million to help rehabilitate Tamil rebels hurt by land mines in Sri Lanka during a civil war in which the Tamils were fighting for their own homeland. The Tamil Tigers, as the militant separatists were called, were defeated in May 2009. A separate charity Rajaratnam founded funneled $3.5 million to help rebuild Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami.
9 Bernard Madoff
The former hedge fund manager became the face of the financial crisis when he was arrested in December 2008 for running a massive Ponzi scheme that cost investors $18 billion in capital losses. In March 2009 he pled guilty and has been imprisoned ever since.
To pull off his fraud, Bernie Madoff preyed on members of the Jewish community, where he was considered a pillar due to his extensive philanthropic work, including $19 million in gifts made through his Madoff Family Foundation.
More than any other toxic philanthropist, he convinced the nonprofits on whose boards he sat to invest with him, and several were forced to close when Madoff imploded. Other victims of his affinity fraud were Hadassah, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, all of which suffered losses due to the investments they made in Madoff’s hedge fund. He was on the board of directors of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University and served as the trustees’ treasurer.
10 Ken Lay
Ken Lay was founder, CEO and chairman of Enron in 2000 when the biggest corporate scandal of the time engulfed the company, leading to its bankruptcy. Lay and Enron president Jeff Skilling were indicted and found guilty of securities fraud by a Houston federal jury. Enron was the largest in a series of accounting scandals that saw several other CEOs convicted of fraud, such as Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski and Adelphia’s John Rigas. These CEOs also had contributed heavily to charities.
One of the biggest contributions of the Lay family foundation and the Enron corporate foundation was made to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. The contribution drew criticism after Enron’s collapse because the center’s president, John Mendelson, was an Enron board member who served on its audit committee, and the president emeritus was Charles LeMaistre, another Enron board member who chaired its compensation committee.
Under Lay’s leadership, Enron allegedly used its corporate grantmaking to try to win support for its deregulation initiatives from groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the think tank Resources for the Future. Lay died in 2005.
BOOM! GEORGE SOROS IS ON THE CHOPPING-BLOCK! HE JUST GOT A BIG SURPRISE HE NEVER SAW COMING!
George Soros excerpts only
Michael T. Kaufmann told the story in his authorized biography, Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire. As a child, according to his authorized biographer, Michael T. Kaufmann, Soros felt he had extraordinary powers, of even being “God-like.” It developed into an adult sense of messianic personal destiny and a power urge that emerged as practical action rather than delusionary lust. But that would take many years and substantial hardship.
Multi-billionaire George Soros (born August 12, 1930) is one of the world’s largest donors to radical left-wing nonprofit organizations and politicians worldwide. Soros has given hundreds of millions of dollars to nearly 5,000 liberal and ultra-left organizations campaigning for a more powerful role in international affairs for the United Nations, population control, socialism, and the defeat of Republicans and election of Democrats in the U.S.
Soros amassed much of his fortune via the controversial practice of global currency speculation, including earning $1 billion in a day by manipulating the British pound – which earned him the title of the “man who broke the Bank of England” in 1992. The dual Hungarian and U.S. citizen has used that fortune to manipulate world events. Soros is credited with funding and organizing the downfall of Georgia’s President Eduard Shevardnadze and Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic.
Some of the largest beneficiaries of Soros’ non-profit and political giving include the ACLU Foundation, Center for American Progress, League of Conservation Voters, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Tides Foundation, and Hillary Clinton – who has benefited from nearly $10 million in grants to her political action committees in the 2016 presidential election.
An article in the Winter 2017 edition of City Journal titled “Connoisseur of Chaos” noted how Soros giving and power is underrported in the press, stating “Soros’s global reach and influence far outstrip those of the Koch brothers or other liberal bogeymen – and that underlying it all is a vision both dystopian and opportunistic.”
In October 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Soros had transferred a staggering $18 billion to his Open Society Foundation, meaning the bulk of his lifelong fortune would be dedicated to promoting left-wing causes and organizations.
Birth of the Soros Fortune
In 1967, Soros talked his employers into letting him start an offshore fund called First Eagle, long positions only, with $250,000 of his own money and $6 million from investors. It went well, and two years later he launched the Double Eagle hedge fund with $4 million of investors’ capital including $250,000 of his own money. It was based in Curaçao, Dutch Antilles, a Caribbean tax haven beyond U.S. regulation. All of its investors were also beyond U.S. regulation: Soros only accepted very rich non-U.S. citizens, mostly European. Soros worked from New York and was only its “investment advisor” collecting a management fee and a 15 percent incentive fee, so he had no investment for the U.S. to regulate.
Soros amicably departed from Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder to create his new Soros Fund, which became the Quantum Fund. He gave the shareholders in the Double Eagle Fund their choice of either keeping their assets in the old fund or transferring them to the new venture. Quantum was the star fund. The name came from quantum physics, especially the indeterminacy principle of Werner Heisenberg. Soros liked “Quantum” as a symbol of the impossibility of accurately determining the future movement of markets as well as subatomic particles. He had developed his own theory that individual biases (e.g., the trend-following habits of speculators) introduce disequilibrium into an economy, so conventional “efficient market” theory doesn’t work. Soros extends his reflexivity theory to just about everything.
In finance, Soros uses it to explain “boom-bust cycles.” He goes further, arguing that when any social enterprise begins to rise – whether a market, a business, a movement, or a nation – the biases of individuals (investors, executives, movement leaders, or statesmen) create instability. They build a bandwagon effect, overvaluing or overreaching, which creates an artificial “bubble” that eventually bursts. Soros has attributed his hedge fund success to his reflexivity theory. Others call it luck.
In 1981, Institutional Investor magazine put Soros on the cover as “the world’s greatest money manager.” But there were thorns in the hedge: Critics accused him of calculated hit-and-run tactics by quietly buying into a market – gold, for example, as he did in 1993 – deliberately leaking his “secret,” watching the bandwagon stampede drive the price up, then bailing out before the bubble bursts.
Quantum had only one losing year in its first two decades and George Soros obtained enormous personal wealth. Even though he failed to predict the stock market crash of 1987 and took a $300 million hit, Quantum was actually up 14 percent for the calendar year – and his personal compensation of $75 million made him the second-highest-paid man on Wall Street. In 1993, Quantum earned him $1.1 billion – making George Soros the top earner on Wall Street, with personal holdings greater than the gross national product of 42 nations. (I would wager that he was using the quantum computer to direct his investments.)
According to author Ron Arnold in the book Freezing in the Dark, Soros’ foundation work began modestly.
“When he set up his Open Society Fund in New York in 1979 he was not particularly proud. He had long cast himself as a curmudgeon, saying he didn’t believe in philanthropy. His original fund was what the law calls a ‘charitable lead trust,’ which Soros described as ‘a very interesting tax gimmick’ allowing him to pass large sums to his heirs untaxed. But his charitable intent (he did not believe in charity, and is in no way what one would consider a charitable man. He say a way to get rich, tax free.)– and power lust – was genuine, and he soon went to work giving money away.”
Soros’ maiden philanthropic effort was a scholarship program for black students in Apartheid South Africa. He held the visionary belief that “the creation of elites among persecuted people is the most effective way to overcome prejudice.” (Now that is RICH…lol the elites are the MOST prejudiced people on earth. And creating a caste system with elite overlords is hardly a way to defeat racisim.) He arranged to have his bold program administered through the University of Capetown. It was a failure, but once he had stumbled into the usual pitfalls of philanthropy – grants being diverted by administrators, no tracking of results, sabotage by opponents – Soros gained enough savvy to undermine the Soviet empire and then cast his anti-capitalist web on the United States.
Insider Trading Conviction
Political changes in 1988 piqued Soros’ interest in purchasing shares in French companies. The new government under Prime Minister Jacques Chirac began an aggressive privatization program, leaving newly privatized companies with undervalued shares. French financier Georges Pébereau contacted a Soros adviser with a plan for a group of investors to purchase a large number of shares in Société Générale, a leading French bank, with the intent to take it over. Without ever having met the financier, Soros decided against joining the group, which predictably failed. He did, however, continue his strategy of accumulating shares in four French companies: Société Générale, Suez, Paribas, and the Compagnie Générale d’Électricité.
In 1989, the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (COB, the French stock exchange regulatory authority) investigated whether Soros’s transaction in Société Générale should be considered insider trading. Soros had received no information from the Société Générale and had no insider knowledge of the business, but he did possess knowledge that a group of investors was planning a takeover attempt. The COB concluded that the statutes, regulations, and case law relating to insider trading did not clearly establish that a crime had occurred and that no charges should be brought against Soros.
Several years later, a Paris-based prosecutor reopened the case against Soros and two other French businessmen, disregarding the COB’s findings. This resulted in Soros’s 2005 conviction for insider trading by the Court of Appeals. (He was the only one of the three convicted). The French Supreme Court confirmed the insider-trading conviction on June 14, 2006, but reduced the penalty. In December 2006, Soros appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, and the court agreed to hear the appeal on the basis that he had no insider information, but in October 2011 the court rejected his appeal in a 4–3 decision, saying that Soros had been aware of the risk of breaking insider trading laws.
In August of 2016, the DCLeaks network posted more than 2,500 hacked documents from the servers of his Open Society Foundations. Predictably, the spotlight was on Soros’s global network, but the shocker was the undue influence Soros exerts over every level of America’s domestic government. The hacked documents reveal initiatives to federalize local police forces, campaigns to rig elections of state attorneys general in favor of Democrats, and racial-based initiatives intended to tilt the 2020 U.S. Census so redistricting would guarantee Democrat control of Congress for at least a decade.
Headlines expressed the shock. Breitbart News evoked Star Wars: “Dark Lord: Hacked Documents Reveal Magnitude Of George Soros’s Domestic Influence.” WND.com suggested zoology: “George Soros: Vilest creature in America.” LifeNews.com focused on his radical stance on abortion: “George Soros Gave Planned Parenthood $1.5 Million to Cover Up Sales of Aborted Baby Parts.” Politico reported it: “George Soros’ quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system.” And Twitter took action against the leakers: “Twitter Suspends DCLeaks Account After Huge George Soros Leak.”
No headlines noted Soros’ proven power to overthrow nations. He is credited with funding and organizing the downfall of Georgia’s President Eduard Shevardnadze, Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic, and the general collapse of the Soviet Empire. Morton Abramowitz, former ambassador to South Korea, said that Soros is “the only man in the United States who has his own foreign policy and can implement it.” (until Obama)
According to the book, Freezing in the Dark: Money, Power, Politics and The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy by Ron Arnold, Soros “built a string of Open Society foundations in communist countries: his native Hungary in 1984, China in 1986, the Soviet Union in 1987, and Poland in 1988.” Arnold wrote:
“Despite KGB interference, Soros made significant gains as the Soviet economy tottered. He gave $100 million to support Soviet science when the country had no money to maintain laboratories or pay scientists’ salaries. (Because at that time Scientists in Russia were free to do all kinds of outrageous experimentation that was difficult to do in the US. And his friends are very much into research and development of the most diabolical kind.) He committed close to another $100 million to introduce non-Marxist educational materials that had previously been banned. He gave another $100 million to wire all 33 regional universities to the Internet. (again, to further the research and development) His announced intent was to help those societies become more open by paying for such things as photocopiers, travel, theaters, filmmaking, sociological research, newspapers, magazines and the then-new Internet. To the communist leaders of those countries it looked like a foreign capitalist was trying to erode the ruling party’s monopoly over art, culture, and information. They accused him of promoting dissent to weaken their regime. As became evident in the Soviet collapse of 1989, they were right.” (worked so well there, he employed the same tactics here in the USA, and the USA is about to fall.)
Yet this anti-communist crusader quickly turned against capitalism. He wrote a 1997 Atlantic Monthly article titled “The Capitalist Threat:
“Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society. The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.”
Political Philosophy and Spending
A chapter in Freezing in the Dark details the Soros emergence into American politics, which for a long time never interested him. Soros admitted to his biographer, Michael T. Kaufman, that he didn’t feel fully American, even though he was a naturalized U.S. citizen with dual Hungarian citizenship. Soros said: “I did not particularly care for the United States. I had acquired some basic British prejudices; you know, the States were, well, commercial, crass, and so on.”
Soros paid no attention to his highest foundation staffers who proposed building a left-wing organizations on par with well-established conservative ones, but “I do not view my role as countering the Right,” became his mantra. Staffers who came to the defense of an ineffectual Democratic Party got the other Soros mantra: “I do not view my role as funding ‘the Left’ or the Democrats.” But the election of President George W. Bush changed Soros’ thinking and philanthropy dramatically.
“On March 19, 2003, Soros couldn’t stand it anymore. American and British forces attacked Iraq in a preemptive strike. His deepest beliefs had been violated and President George W. Bush had violated them. It wasn’t just that Bush struck him as a common, uncouth, Texas redneck. Bush’s declaration that ‘you are either with us or you are with the terrorists,’ shortly after the 9/11 attacks really got Soros. He said it evoked memories of Hitler from his boyhood as a Jew in hiding from the Nazis in his native Hungary. It looked to him like American society, the world’s most open, was closing.”
Soros’ 2003 book, The Bubble of American Supremacy: The Costs of Bush’s War in Iraq, was a forthright critique of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” as misconceived and counterproductive. He explains the title in the closing chapter by pointing out the parallels in this political context with the self-reinforcing reflexive processes that generate bubbles in stock prices.
In a November 11, 2003 interview with The Washington Post, Soros said that removing President Bush from office was the “central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death.” He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat Bush “if someone guaranteed it,” and gave many millions to left-wing organizations even with no guarantees. Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, and $20 million to America Coming Together. These groups worked to support Democrats in the 2004 election, which resulted in the re-election of President Bush and gains for Republicans in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
After the 2004 Republican victories, Soros and other donors backed a new political fundraising group called Democracy Alliance, which supports progressive causes and the formation of a stronger progressive infrastructure in America. On October 26, 2010, Soros donated $1 million to the organization, the largest donation in the campaign.
On September 27, 2012, Soros announced that he was donating $1 million to the super PAC backing President Barack Obama’s reelection, Priorities USA Action. In October 2013, Soros donated $25,000 to Ready for Hillary, becoming a co-chairman of the super PAC’s national finance committee.
In June 2015, Soros again donated $1 million to the Super PAC, Priorities USA Action, which supports Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Since then he donated an additional $6 million to the PAC to support Clinton. Soros’ immersion in American politics is now routine.
George Soros’ Related Wealth
- Personal fortune $24.9 billion in 2016 – 16th richest in the Forbes 400 in 2016.
- Foundation to Promote Open Society, 2014 assets $4,986,868 744.
- Open Society Institute, 2014 assets $1,757,161,818.
- Quantum Endowment Fund posted strongest gains of any other hedge fund in 2013, $5.5 billion return on $28.6 billion investments.
- Soros Fund Management is the private family office of the Soros operations and does not release its financials.
By Douglas E. Kneeland; Special to The New York Times
April 16, 1974
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.
BOYS TOWN, Neb.,—Somehow, 36 years ago, when Spencer Tracy and Mickey, Rooney were running the place, it did not seem likely that the biggest problem at Boys Town would ever be an embarrassment of riches.
They sort of scuffed along from hand to mouth in those days and what they scraped together they seemed to find no end of useful ways to spend.
Over the years since, Boys Town, a nonsectarian home for homeless, neglected and underprivileged boys aged 10 to 18, has developed the art of raising money to a fine point. Its current net worth is more than $226‐million, most of which is in a rapidly growing endowment fund that was a virtual secret until two years ago.
Somewhere along the line, the institution lost the knack of generating worthy causes as fast as it did wealth. But, faced with mounting questions about what it was doing with all that money and a sharp drop in contributions, Boys Town, which now has a new director, is moving quickly to spend a substantial part of its accumulated millions.Within the last year or so, it has committed itself to the establishment of an Institute for the Study and Treatment of Hearing and Speech Disorders in Children and three branches of a Center for the Study of Youth Development. Now, it is planning to set up a network of halfway houses in cities across the country for Boys Town graduates who have no homes to return to as they try to make the transition back to the outside world.
The professional staff is being expanded rapidly, deteriorating buildings are being remodeled and regulations and programs at the institution are being altered drastically to provide a more homelike atmosphere for the boys.For most Americans old enough to have seen MetroGoldwyn ‐ Mayer’s movie “Boys Town,” or its sequel, and perhaps for many who may have caught them on television, the City of Little Men has always been frozen in time.
Back in 1938, Father Flanagan (that was Spencer Tracy) swallowed his Irish pride hard and begged and borrowed a lot and did a fair amount of praying just to get by.
Maybe that’s not exactly how it was, but in memory that’s how it’s always seemed.
For Boys Town, that was just fine.
30 Million Letters
Every Christmas, millions of letters with the Boys Town postmark were dispatched to people on mailing lists across the country. Bearing idealized pictures of a snowy campus and a smiling youngster carrying a sleeping smaller boy on his back (“He aint heavy …”) the letters usually began with something like, “There will be no joyous Christmas season this year for many homeless and forgotten boys to look forward to with eager anticipation as the more fortunate boys do.”
At Easter another set of mailings would go out, part of the more than 30 million solicitation letters prepared each year by scores of women working, for the Boys Town fund‐raising apparatus in an old five‐story building in downtown Omaha.
The letters ask recipients to send “$1, $2, $5, or any amount you care to give.”
And the contributions kept rolling in, totaling more than $18‐million in 1971. In that year, Boys Town’s total income, including return on investments, was about $25‐million, some four times its annual expenses.
Then, at the end of March, 1972, the Sun Newspapers of Omaha, a weekly group, published an eight‐page section entitled, “Boys Town, America’s Wealthiest City?” The articles, which were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for special local reporting, asserted that Boys Town had developed a “money machine” that by that time had produced a net worth of more than $209‐million.
Working from figures in a 1970 report filed by Boys Town with the Internal Revenue Service, the Sun Newspapers concluded that based on census figures of that year of 993 people at Boys Town, which is also an incorporated village, the community had a net worth of more than $190,000 per person.
Shortly after the disclosures, Msgr. Nicholas H. Wegner, who on the death of Msgr. Edward T. Flanagan in 1948 succeeded the man who founded the institution in 1917, offered a frank explanation:
“In the 24 years I have been the director, I’ve tried in every possible way to increase the amount of money Boys Town receives, with the help of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York.”
Monsignor Wegner, who had watched Father Flanagan’s financial struggles over the years and who had inherited some of the debt from a $10‐million building program undertaken not long before the founder’s death, also remarked, “We’re a social agency, but social welfire has to be run as a business”But an aroused public kept asking why Boys Town, which had done little building in years and had a dwindling population as trends in the care of, homeless or problem children shifted from institutionalization to placement in foster homes, felt the need for continued fund‐raising when it could live off its investments and other income.
So fund appeals were abruptly dropped in the latter pirt of 1972. That year contributions fell off to about $3.6 ‐ million from about ‐ $18.3 ‐ million the year before.
A company of outside experts was also hired in 1972 to determine how Boys Town could improve its operations here and to suggest other ways in which it might, contribute to troubled young stets.
Three Study Centers
During that year, the institution announced plans to put up $30‐million Into the Boys Town Institute for the Study and Treatment of Hearing and Speech Disorders in Children, to be estab lished at nearby Creighton University, and $40‐million for three branches of a Boys Town Center for the Study of Youth Development.
The Youth study centers, which will conduct research on such problems as rejection of parents, drug addiction, antisocial behavior and inability to learn, will be on the 1,700‐acre campus here, at Catholic University in Washington and at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
Last October, Archbishop Sheehan named the Rev. Robert P. Hupp, a popular 58‐year‐old Omaha parish priest, to replace the ailing 75‐year‐old Monsignor Wegner, who retired.
Since then things have hardly been the same for the 640 boys and 730 staff members on the sprawling campus, which has more than 50 buildings, including a modern high school, elementary school, vocational school, a fieldhouse that would do justice to most colleges, a 2,600‐seat music hall and a 900‐acre farm.Indeed, change has been so swift that a lot of the old hands have been in almost open rebellion, but Father Hupp, smiling benignly, insists that “one by one, they’re coming around.”
Leaning back in his chair and discussing the changes that are taking place, he added:
“We’ve got enough money to do things and we’re going to do them because they’re so long overdue. I don’t see any point in delaying just for the sake of delay. Besides, it’s a lot harder to hit a moving target.”
“The Second Mile program that Sandusky founded provided his victims,” jurors wrote. “Through The Second Mile, Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations.”
BELLEFONTE — A Centre County jury has found former Penn State assistant football coach
Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, had been charged with 52 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys, some of them on the Penn State campus and all of whom he met through his Second Mile children’s charity.
Four of those charges were dismissed during the trial. Bail was revoked.
Report: Former coach Jerry Sandusky used charity to molest kids click the link for full article
His work on the football field was legendary. The charity he founded served hundreds of needy children and made him a legend off the field, too.
Now, in a 23-page graphically detailed grand-jury presentment released Saturday, state investigators say former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky used his celebrity status to gain access to children he could molest.
The 40-count presentment spans a decade — dating to Sandusky’s coaching years at Penn State ––and involves eight young male victims. The charges include 21 felonies and 19 misdemeanors that allege he engaged in sex acts and molested boys.
If convicted, the 67-year-old Sandusky could face life in prison.
Attorney General Linda Kelly also contends that the inaction of top officials at Penn State allowed Sandusky to abuse the most recent victim for several years.
Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz were both charged with perjury and failure to report a crime related to charges filed against Sandusky. They could face as much as 7 years in prison.
“Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law,” Kelly said. “Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack firsthand.”
Sandusky, of College Twp., turned himself in Saturday morning at District Judge Leslie Dutchcot’s office in Centre County and was released on $100,000 unsecured bail, meaning he won’t have to post it unless he doesn’t show up for court.
Curley, 57, and Schultz, 62, will be arraigned Monday morning at District Judge Marsha Stewart’s office in Harrisburg.
Attorneys for the two men issued statements declaring their innocence, and Penn State President Graham Spanier said he was confident in their acquittal.
Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s State College attorney, said the truth is certainly far from the allegations that he built a life around molesting kids.”When you look in its totality, it’s very damning,” Amendola said. “But when you pick it apart case by case, it isn’t what it seems to be.”
After the charges were filed Friday afternoon, Sandusky drove in from visiting family in Ohio and turned himself in to state police.
The former defensive coordinator who helped develop Penn State as Linebacker U appeared morose and was silent during his arraignment.
The grand-jury presentment begins by tying Sandusky’s altruism in founding The Second Mile children’s charity to his desire to find young boys.
“It was within The Second Mile program that Sandusky found his victims,” jurors wrote. “Through The Second Mile, Sandusky had access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations.”
The attorney general’s office, which is holding a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday shortly before Curley and Schultz are arraigned, says the investigation is ongoing and the grand jury will continue to meet on the subject.
A source close to the investigation told The Patriot-News that head coach Joe Paterno will not be charged, and was praised by prosecutors for handling himself appropriately.
Second Mile President Jack Raykovitz couldn’t be reached for comment.
Details of allegationsThe grand-jury presentment talks about two kinds of abuse. It included several instances of shared showers, where boys either testified about being touched, washed, groped or bear hugged.
It also detailed allegations from two boys that Sandusky abused them over prolonged periods when they were adolescent boys between ages 11 and 14. The contact ranged from kissing and touching to oral sex.
In both cases, the boys were plied with gifts. One was reportedly promised a spot as a walk-on to the Penn State football team when he got older.
One boy, now 27, told the grand jury he was abused while Sandusky was still the defensive coordinator for Penn State.He was a fixture in the Sandusky home, traveled to several bowl games with Sandusky and the football team, and shared a hotel room with Sandusky during charity golf outings and coaching banquets.
Once, when he resisted, Sandusky threatened to send him home from the Alamo Bowl in Texas in 1999, the jurors said.
As the boy started to distance himself, Sandusky bought him cigarettes and gave him $50 for marijuana, which he smoked inside Sandusky’s car, the presentment said.
When a Clinton County teen went to police in 2005 with a similar story against Sandusky, the grand-jury investigation was launched.
From there, witnesses — including janitors in the fall of 2000 and a graduate assistant in 2002 — and other victims came forward.
Along with testimony from Joe Paterno, Penn State President Graham Spanier and several state officials, the attorney general’s office subpoenaed thousands of pages of documents from The Second Mile and Penn State.
Amendola said it appears that Sandusky’s accusers might have wrongly believed playful behavior was sexual in nature.
“It’s very possible he pats them on the knee and they’re interpreting it one way or they’re in the shower and it’s not really sexually. You can infer maybe sexual thoughts, but it’s not really sexual.”
In the two that include allegations of long-term abuse, Amendola said Sandusky simply denies anything ever happened.
|”Part of the problem is that he was dealing with at-risk kids who came from dysfunctional families and a lot of kids say things that aren’t necessarily true,” Amendola said. “Jerry has maintained his innocence, and I am giving him the benefit of the doubt.”
Boy Scouts deluged with 92,700 sexual abuse claims, dwarfing U.S. Catholic Church’s numbers
The Boy Scouts of America will face more than 92,700 claims of sexual abuse in a landmark bankruptcy that could reshape the future of one of the nation’s oldest and largest youth organizations, lawyers in the case said Monday as the filing deadline passed.
The number of claims and the total payouts to settle them will easily eclipse those in the sex abuse scandal that engulfed the U.S. Catholic Church more than a decade ago, plaintiffs’ lawyers say.
“This is a staggering number of cases, even beyond what I thought was out there,” said Paul Mones, a Los Angeles attorney who won a $20-million judgment against the Scouts in 2010 and represents several hundred accusers in the bankruptcy. “The scope of this is something I could never have contemplated.”
The 110-year-old Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February as it faced a wave of new sex abuse lawsuits after several states, including California, New York and New Jersey, expanded legal options for childhood victims to sue.
The bankruptcy put a hold on hundreds of lawsuits to allow for a potential global settlement to be negotiated. It also required new abuse claims to be handled in that venue rather than in state courts.
The Bankruptcy Court set Monday as the “bar date” by which the claims must be filed, triggering law firms’ TV and internet advertisements for prospective clients and a rush of claims in recent months.
In a statement Monday, the organization called the massive response from abuse survivors “gut-wrenching.”
“We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward,” it said. “We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain…. We are deeply sorry.”
The Boy Scouts conducted its own public outreach this fall, encouraging victims to seek compensation from a trust fund it will establish.
A researcher hired by the Scouts to analyze its internal records last year identified 7,819 suspected abusers and 12,254 victims — a fraction of the number who have now filed claims.
The following article is about the prior case against the Boy Scouts
Boy Scout files reveal repeat child abuse by sexual predators
One coalition of law firms billing itself as Abused in Scouting now represents 16,500 claimants, said Andrew Van Arsdale, a San Diego lawyer involved with the group.
“The BSA was very effective at getting out the message to the men who suffered as children in their care,” he said. “The question remains if the BSA will make good on their word to make the tens of thousands of lives they altered better. The BSA failed them once as children; we hope they do not do it again this time around.”
All claims will be vetted by “third-party advisors” while the national organization develops a reorganization plan and establishes its compensation fund, the Scouts said Monday, promising to work as “expeditiously as possible.”
The size of the victims fund has yet to be determined, along with how much of its cost will be footed by the Scouts or their insurers. Some insurers have balked at covering payouts in sex abuse cases, contending the organization could have prevented the abuse that led to the claims, court records show.
At the time of the bankruptcy, the national organization had assets of more than $1 billion. Local Boy Scouts councils separately hold billions more in real estate and other assets, but it is unclear how much they will contribute to the compensation fund.
“That’s all now being negotiated between the Boy Scouts and the creditors committee and other claimants and the insurers,” said Mones, who sits on that Bankruptcy Court committee representing victims.
“We are not anywhere close to having what the final number is going to be, or even what the criteria are on which the claims will be valued,” he said. “Most likely, it will include the severity of abuse and how long it happened.”
Not in doubt, Mones said, is that the Scouts’ payouts will dwarf those made by the Catholic Church, including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ 2007 settlement of $660 million involving more than 500 victims.
“It has to be in the billions,” he said, but “nobody knows how much money is going to be in the pot.”
Lawsuits against the Scouts numbered into the hundreds at the time of the bankruptcy, but the organization has never disclosed how often it has been sued or how much it has paid in settlements and judgments.
Many of the lawsuits came in the wake of the Los Angeles Times’ publication in 2012 of internal Scout records involving about 5,000 men on a blacklist known as the “perversion files,” a closely guarded trove of documents that details sexual abuse allegations against troop leaders and others dating back a century.
In its yearlong examination of the files, The Times documented hundreds of cases in which the Boy Scouts failed to report accusations to authorities, hid the allegations from parents and the public, or urged admitted abusers to quietly resign — and then helped cover their tracks with bogus reasons for their departures.
Accusers cited the files — formally known for decades as the “ineligible volunteer files” and now called the Volunteer Screening Database — as evidence the organization knew of pedophiles in its ranks but failed to protect children.
Mones used about 1,200 of the files in a Portland, Ore., trial to win a $19.9-million verdict against the Scouts in 2010 on behalf of a man who was sexually abused as a boy in the 1980s.
Mones and others have long insisted that the files reflect only a fraction of the abuse that has occurred in Scouting. He noted that the Boy Scouts of America holds a rare congressional charter, and he urged lawmakers to investigate the extent of the abuse indicated by the flood of claims.
He predicted that the post-bankruptcy Boy Scouts of America would be “a leaner, trimmed-down version” of an organization that already was suffering declining membership.
He said he also expected its all-American image to suffer.
“The scope of the problem here is definitely going to change the Norman Rockwell image of the Boy Scouts,” Mones said. “I don’t see how people can see the mom-and-apple-pie part of the Boy Scouts anymore.”
With the increasing decline of regular church attendees comes the decline of tithing. As many church leaders confront an already tightening waistline and the prospects of an even more dramatic decline in attendance and tithing as the Baby Boomers pass on to their rewards, it seems that some of them have turned to government largesse to stay afloat.
If you’re a Catholic, then you’ve probably noticed the aggressive push by the bishops to defend illegal immigration, refugee resettlement, and other issues at odds with a great deal of the American public as well as their parishioners. Traditionally, the Catholic Church has actually defended the idea of a nation or community defending its interests. And when it comes to walls, the Vatican is still surrounded by one that was erected to defend St. Peter’s from Muslim immigrants and raiders.
So, why are the Catholic bishops pushing so hard both to defend illegal immigration and to stop the building of a wall along the United States’ southern border? The ugly reality is that they’re receiving tens of millions of dollars from the government on those specific issues, thus calling into question their altruism.
You see, our government doles out billions of dollars to organizations and charities that settle refugees and aid illegal immigrants. If our illegal immigration problem suddenly went away, then there would be no reason to fund groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, BCFS Health and Human Services (a Baptist group), Catholic Charities, or Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service.
Already in 2018, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been awarded $26 million in taxpayer funding for the purposes of resettling refugees and providing support to illegal immigrants. Here is the link to the data.
Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service has been granted $28 million so far in 2018 for the same work as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here is the link to the data.
Through BCFS (Baptist Child & Family Services) Health and Human Services, some Baptists have already received $127 million in 2018 for providing the same services as Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here is the link to the data.
In 2018 alone, over $1.2 billion has been awarded by our federal government to organizations and religious charities for refugee resettlement, unaccompanied alien children, refugee and entrant assistance, etc. Here is the link to the data. (So no wonder they separate the kids from the parents, they can get more funding for “unaccompanied” children.)
That’s a lot of money sloshing around for refugees and illegal immigrants that’s being scooped up by religious organizations. Are we at all surprised that they want to maintain the status quo? In other words, cui bono?
EDIT: A follow up article has been written. You can access it here.
Catholic Children’s service WORLDWIDE
Catholic Church sex abuse scandals around the world
The Catholic Church has faced a raft of allegations of child sex abuse by priests and an inadequate response by bishops. Here is a round-up of some of those events:
Bishop Vangheluwe asked for forgiveness over the abuse. The bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned in April 2010 after admitting that he had sexually abused a boy for years when he was a priest and after being made a bishop.
The scandal drew in the former head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, who had advised the victim in April not to go public with his story until Vangheluwe had retired in 2011.
After the Vangheluwe case came to light, a commission set up to investigate the extent of abuse in the Belgian Church received a flood of calls.
Police controversially raided the commission and Church offices, suspecting some evidence was being covered up – but this move was ruled illegal by a Belgian court.
In September 2010 the head of the commission released harrowing details of some 300 cases of alleged sexual abuse by Belgian clergy.
The abuse was found in nearly every diocese, and 13 alleged victims had committed suicide, he said.
However, he found no indication that the Church had systematically sought to cover up cases.
The Church pledged to set up a victims’ support centre in a first attempt to rebuild public trust, and to co-operate more with the police.
Two major reports into allegations of paedophilia among Irish clergy last year revealed the shocking extent of abuse, cover-ups and hierarchical failings involving thousands of victims, and stretching back decades.
In one, four Dublin archbishops were found to have effectively turned a blind eye to cases of abuse from 1975 to 2004.
The Dublin archdiocese, it said, operated in a culture of concealment, placing the integrity of its institutions above the welfare of the children in its care.
In the wake of the report, all Irish bishops were summoned to the Vatican to give an account of themselves in person before the Pope.
Four bishops, named in the report, handed in their resignations. The Pope accepted two but told the other two he wanted them to continue. (Are you kidding? Why are these people not prosecuted? Wanted them to continue serving??? Seriously?)
Six months earlier, another report – the result of a nine-year investigation – documented some six decades of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at residential institutions run by 18 religious orders.
With the Church still reeling from the reports’ findings, a fresh scandal erupted in March 2010 when it emerged the head of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, was present at meetings in 1975 where children signed vows of silence over complaints against a paedophile priest, Fr Brendan Smyth.
Cardinal Brady resisted calls to resign but issued an apology for mishandling the matter. (an apology and he can keep his job??)
A few days later, on 20 March, Pope Benedict XVI apologised to victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
He then accepted the resignation of Bishop John Magee, an aide to three popes before being assigned to Ireland, who was found to have mishandled allegations of clerical sex abuse in his County Cork diocese.
Pope Benedict has now appointed a panel of nine prelates to investigate child abuse in Ireland’s Catholic institutions. (that is amusing considering that Benedict and Francis have been found guilty of sexual abuse and murder of children at the Vatican.)
Over the past two decades, the Roman Catholic Church in the US – with the archdiocese of Boston in particular – has been embroiled in a series of child sex scandals.
There was public outrage after abuses in the 1990s by two Boston priests, Paul Shanley and John Geoghan, came to light, with suspicions that Church leaders had sought to cover up their crimes by moving them from post to post.
In 2002 the then-Pope John Paul II called an emergency meeting with US cardinals, but allegations continued to emerge.
Despite an apology and pledge to take a tougher line, Archbishop Bernard Law resigned over the scandal at the end of the year.
In September 2003, the Boston archdiocese – the fourth-largest in the US – agreed to pay $85m to settle more than 500 civil suits accusing priests of sexual abuse and church officials of concealment.
A report commissioned by the Church the following year said more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years, in cases involving more than 10,000 children – mostly boys.
A series of huge payouts has been made by US diocese to alleged victims of abuse – the largest being some $660m from the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2007.
During a tour of the US in 2008, the Pope met privately with victims of abuse by priests and spoke of “the pain and the harm inflicted by the sexual abuse of minors”.
In March 2010 documents emerged suggesting that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he became Pope, failed to respond to letters from US clergy about cases of alleged child sex abuse by a priest in Wisconsin.
Archbishops had complained about Fr Lawrence Murphy in 1996 to a Vatican office led by the future Pope, but apparently received no response.
Fr Murphy, who died in 1998, is suspected of having abused some 200 boys at St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin, between 1950 and 1974.
One of his alleged victims told the BBC the Pope had known for years about the accusations yet failed to take action.
Since the start of 2010, at least 300 people have made allegations of sexual or physical abuse by priests across the Pope’s home country.
Claims are being investigated in 18 of Germany’s 27 Roman Catholic dioceses.
Accusations include the abuse of more than 170 children by priests at Jesuit schools, three Catholic schools in Bavaria, and within the Regensburg Domspatzen school boys’ choir that was directed for 30 years by Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, the Pope’s brother.
In June, prosecutors said they were investigating the head of Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg is suspected of allowing the re-appointment of a priest accused of child abuse in 1987. The archdiocese rejected the charge.
In March, Father Peter Hullermann, who was convicted of molesting boys during his time in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, was suspended from his duties after breaching a ban on working with children.
Days earlier, the Pope’s former diocese said Benedict had unwittingly approved housing for Fr Hullermann when serving as archbishop of Munich; the Vatican denounced what it called “aggressive” efforts to link the Pope to the scandal.
The Regensburg diocese confirmed on 22 March new allegations of child sexual abuse against four priests and two nuns, saying most of the incidents occurred in the 1970s.
Two days later the German government announced it was forming a committee of experts to investigate all the abuse claims.
In June 2010 a high-profile former priest was charged with sexual abuse.
Pierino Gelmini, 85, is alleged to have abused 12 young people at a drug rehabilitation centre he founded.
Meanwhile, a number of deaf men have come forward to say they were abused as children at the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf in the northern city of Verona between the 1950s and the 1980s.
The allegations were first reported in the Italian press in January 2009.
Later last year the Associated Press news agency obtained a written statement from 67 of the school’s former pupils naming 24 priests, brothers and lay religious men who they accused of sexual abuse, paedophilia and corporal punishment.
The diocese of Verona said it intended to interview the victims following a request from the Vatican to do so.
In March 2010, Dutch bishops ordered an independent inquiry into more than 200 allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests, in addition to three cases dating from 1950 to 1970.
Allegations first centred on Don Rua monastery school in the eastern Netherlands, with people saying they were abused by Catholic priests in the 1960s and 70s.
This prompted dozens more alleged victims from other institutions to come forward.
A series of claims of sexual abuse by priests has emerged in the Vorarlberg region. Some 16 people have reported 27 alleged incidents there, spanning half a century.
Ten children are also alleged to have been abused at a monastery in Mehrerau in the 1970s and early 80s.
Meanwhile five priests at a monastery in Kremsmuenster in Upper Austria have been suspended after complaints of sexual and physical abuse of boys there.
Separately, the head of a Salzburg monastery, Bruno Becker, resigned after confessing to having abused a boy 40 years ago, when he was a monk.
A commission set up by the Swiss Bishops Conference in 2002 has been investigating allegations of abuse involving the Catholic Church there.
A member of the commission, Abbot Martin Werlen, said in a newspaper interview this month that about 60 people have said they were abused by Catholic priests. The alleged incidents are reported to have occurred over the past 15 years.
A priest in the canton of Thurgau was arrested on 19 March on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors, police said.
Three priests have been accused of sexually abusing 10 orphan children in Malta during the 1980s and 1990s.
Pope Benedict visited the island in April and held an emotional meeting with victims, pledging to bring those responsible to justice and to protect young people in the future.
Police have launched an investigation into three members of staff at a care home run by a Catholic order.
There have also been formal accusations against a Carmelite monk in eastern Spain and Franciscan brothers in the south.
This is by no means covers the extent of the abuse in the Catholic Church. I have not covered ANY of the abuses by Nuns both inside Nunneries and among the public. The abuse is horrendous! The Church shows no compassion or concern for the mental and emotional recovery of the abused. It is Offensive to GOD!
CPS and CASA are the biggest culprits of all, I haven’t got the room or the time to cover them here. I have addressed this issue somewhat in previous posts. It would take volumes to do this issue justice. Those entities need to be shut down.
Red Cross sells your blood to the highest bidder..
Nobody disputes the value of sharing blood. But in the last 15 years, this trading in blood has become a huge, virtually unregulated market – with no ceiling on prices, with nonprofit blood banks vying with one another for control of the blood supply, with decisions often driven by profits and corporate politics, not medical concerns.
In this marketplace, blood, a vital resource, gets less government protection than grapes or poultry or pretzels. Dog kennels in Pennsylvania are inspected more frequently than blood banks.
And donors are rarely told what happens to their blood.
“People are being fooled,” said Dr. Aaron Kellner, recently retired president of the New York Blood Center, which buys 300,000 pints of blood a year. “Nobody is telling them that their blood is going to us. They would be furious if they knew about it. “
NEWS FEATURES HISTORY WEIRD ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE CRIME
THE UNTOLD TRUTH OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
BY KATHY BENJAMIN/OCT. 29, 2018 4:25 PM EST
The American Red Cross is an institution. It’s one of the biggest charities in the country, raking in billions every year. After any disaster you see people sharing links all over social media, begging others to donate to the Red Cross so they can get out there and help those affected.
But the organization has a dark underbelly. Its history is full of scandal and bigotry. It flat-out refused to help during one of the biggest disasters America ever faced. In the modern era, Red Cross assistance during emergencies has been called into question time and again, by everyone from watchdog groups, to politicians, to the people they were supposed to help, to their own volunteers. There are also serious questions about what exactly they do with donations, and why their employees steal them all the damn time.
This list just might convince you that after the next disaster, your precious dollars would be better off with a different charity.
IT STARTED OUT AS AN INEFFICIENT, SCANDAL-RIDDEN CULT OF PERSONALITY
Clara Barton was a celebrity in her own time. She was a nurse during the Civil War and later gained fame by giving lectures about her experiences. Barton had been introduced to the Red Cross when she went to Europe to help out in the Franco-Prussian War. She was impressed and finally got her own version in 1881.
It was very much her organization. Barton was its first president, and H-Net says the American Red Cross was “indistinguishable” from its founder in the early years. This didn’t have to be a problem, but Barton held the reins with an iron fist. She insisted on actually being present when aid was delivered, refusing to delegate even basic distribution efforts to subordinates. If Barton wasn’t there, people didn’t get help. It also meant they could only take on one disaster at a time, so if a flood and hurricane happened at the same time, bummer. Because of this, the Red Cross was regularly outperformed by other relief organizations.
Soon the American Red Cross was little more than a “cult of personality.” It was less a national institution and more a “personal mission” of Barton’s, based on her own “intimate outreach.” On top of this, it was “by existing standards lackluster in its financial management and relief administration, and was frequented by scandal.” Barton would be ousted in what amounted to a coup in 1904.
THE GREAT 1927 FLOOD WAS A RACIST CATASTROPHE
The Great 1927 Flood was a huge natural disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi, so of course the American Red Cross swooped in to help. Because of the location of the flood, it disproportionately affected African-Americans, but the people who should have been helping them decided to let their racist flag fly instead. The Red Cross took the Southern racial discrimination of Jim Crow and multiplied it.
According to Lake Forest College, blacks “endured systematic abuse by the Red Cross.” People who had been displaced were housed in refugee camps run by the organization, but African-Americans were separated into “the dirtiest and the most dangerous” areas. They were not allowed to come and go freely, reports National Geographic, and if they tried guards threatened to shoot them. The only time the men were allowed to go anywhere was to work on building the levees back up, and they had no choice on that. If they didn’t do this backbreaking work for free, their families would no longer get rations.
Not that the rations were that great anyway. The Red Cross gave food to white refugees first and whatever was left was given, in much smaller portions, to the African-Americans. When special food came in, like canned peaches, blacks weren’t given any at all, because the Red Cross thought it would “spoil them” and “teach them a lot of expensive habits.” One historian said the camps set up theoretically to help these people were nothing more than slave camps.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION WASN’T THE RIGHT KIND OF DISASTER
By the time the Great Depression hit, the Red Cross was firmly established in America and had helped during innumerable emergencies. Considering people were starving to death and innocent children were malnourished, it would seem like the perfect time for the American Red Cross to step in, set up some soup kitchens, and save some lives. But it didn’t.
As far back as 1921, according to the Capital Research Center, the organization adopted a policy that assisting those out of work was not part of their remit since they had no way of knowing if that person was jobless because of “hard luck” or if they “willfully or maliciously” chose not to work.
Surely, the stock market crash and resulting economic issues would indicate that the millions of people out of work and starving were not just lazy, but the Red Cross held firm. Lumen Learning says Chairman John Barton Payne declared that mass unemployment was not an “Act of God” (like a flood or earthquake) but an “Act of Man,” therefore it was “definitely outside the Red Cross field.” One historian records that the vice-chairman even called it a “menace to the future of the Red Cross to become involved in the unemployment question.” Meanwhile, religious organizations, the Elks Club, even random groups of college students provided hungry people with food. America noticed, and the Red Cross came in for a lot of criticism at the time.
THEY SEGREGATED BLOOD DONATIONS
After Pearl Harbor, the Red Cross put out repeated desperate calls for Americans to donate blood. People turned out in droves, including Sylvia Tucker, who went to her local Red Cross donation center just a few days after the attack. She’d been moved by the “soul-stirring” appeals and like any patriotic citizen she wanted to do her part to help. According to PBS, she was turned away. Her blood was fine, but her skin color was not. All local chapters had received orders from the national office that “barred Negro blood donors.” Across the country, black donors were rejected.
But need was greater than racism, and within months this policy was dropped. That didn’t mean the Red Cross didn’t still discriminate, though. African-Americans were welcome to give, but their blood would only go to help other African-Americans. Blood donations were completely segregated. No one wanted a poor wounded white soldier somewhere in Europe worrying that the live-saving red stuff being pumped into him originally came from a black person.
This racism was especially weird since the head of the American Red Cross’s pilot blood program at the time was an African-American scientist, Dr. Charles Drew. Plus Nazis had their own “Aryan-only blood policy,” and the U.S. was supposedly better than them. Red Cross blood would remain segregated nationally until 1950, and branches in Southern states kept it up even longer, until the freaking 1970s in some cases.
THEY REFUSED TO TEST BLOOD FOR HIV DURING THE AIDS CRISIS
During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, one of the ways people could contract HIV and AIDS was through blood transfusions. Since the American Red Cross was a huge source of that blood, there was a demand for testing. So in 1983, according to the LA Times, they released a joint statement with the American Association of Blood Banks and the Council of Community Blood Centers, declaring, “The presently available medical and scientific evidence that AIDS can be spread by blood components remains incomplete.” Testing for HIV was rejected.
This was ridiculous, since the CDC had already announced their evidence that “the disease posed a serious threat to the blood supply.” And Red Cross internal memos from the time clearly show they knew “the available evidence strongly suggests that AIDS is transmissible” through blood. The organization simply didn’t want to do the tests because they thought they cost too much. Instead, they just banned all gay men from donating.
The government followed their lead, and this discriminatory policy would be in place until 2015. Since then, gay men can donate if they have been celibate for a year. Now that testing is dirt cheap, the Red Cross has changed its tune and wants all restrictions lifted. But they still have issues with their blood. In 2008, the Red Cross was fined $4.6 million for failing to properly screen blood.
THEY HAVE SERIOUSLY SCREWED UP THE BIGGEST MODERN DISASTERS
While the Red Cross has undoubtedly helped during modern disasters, every response also throws up dozens of legitimate criticisms. According to NBC News, after 9/11, the American Red Cross’s own CEO compared their “compassion centers” to Ellis Island, where traumatized people were initially treated callously and volunteers stood around doing nothing, comforting no one. Despite having plenty of blood available already, the Red Cross appealed for donations for a week. Of the 475,000+ units that were generously given, just 258 were used. (The rest was destroyed.)
The Red Cross’s Hurricane Katrina response was particularly bad, reports the New York Times. Even two days after the storm hit they had failed to open any shelters in the hardest hit areas, including New Orleans. There were complaints about racial insensitivity and “nonexistent” aid. One local politician called the Red Cross his “biggest disappointment,” and one woman who had been volunteering for them since 1969 was so disgusted she quit.
Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac were also utter shambles. ProPublica found that internal memos asked for assets to be diverted from disaster relief to “public relations purposes.” During Isaac, supervisors had dozens of empty relief trucks drive around “just to be seen.” After Sandy, emergency vehicles were pulled out of active service to be used as backdrops during Red Cross press conferences. Failure to follow basic procedures in their shelters meant sex offenders were “all over,” including in children’s areas. They lacked basic supplies like blankets. Food was simply thrown out. And so, so much more. (During all of these disasters, witnesses saw the Red Cross discarding donations because they were not processed or purchased by the Red Cross, they were seen withholding food and water that was readily available, withholding it even from children. People were turned away from shelters or held against their will. People volunteering to help, or to bring food to the victims, were turned away.)
THEIR HANDLING OF DONATIONS IS EXTREMELY CONTROVERSIAL
The American Red Cross claims they put 91 cents out of every dollar donated toward relief efforts, but evidence says this is B.S.
Now, there is no “right” percentage of donations for a charity to put toward its running costs. Charities.org suggests many charities could stand to spend more on overhead to become healthier. But regardless, all charities should be upfront about the actual numbers, and it appears the American Red Cross isn’t.
Various investigations have found the Red Cross spends “as much as 25% of donations on administrative, promotional and overhead costs,” according to USA Today. One in-depth report found that since 2014, the charity spent “just a small fraction of its money on its high-publicity disaster relief programs.” Even one of the Red Cross’s own representatives admitted they use a not-straightforward way to get that 91 cents figure.
NPR reported after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the charity spent 25 percent of donations ($125 million) on internal expenses, then lied about it to the public and congressional investigators. The resulting government report said, “There are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization.” Even five years after the earthquake, it was impossible to tell where the $500 million raised had gone. For example, in all that time they had only built six permanent houses.
The Red Cross also misleads about what tragedy your donations will go toward. They raised over $500 million in the month after 9/11 but put aside half that money for “future disasters” instead of actually helping people right then.
THEY HAVE ENDEMIC MONEY MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS
You might think you’d never get rich working for the Red Cross, what with it being a charity and all, but you aren’t taking into account the vast sums of money you, and seemingly every other employee, would be stealing.
Here’s just a tiny, tiny sample: A Pennsylvania Red Cross office manager stole $16,000 in donations to feed her crack habit. The director of emergency services for one West Virginia chapter skimmed $30,000 for himself. A California finance manager took $110,000 before she was caught. A Connecticut employee embezzled over $500,000 by overpaying herself for years. The biggest theft to date (that we know about) was a duo in New Jersey who helped themselves to more than $1 million and spent it buying each other presents and gambling.
CBS News says this is because the local chapters pull the strings, and the Red Cross national headquarters has “little control” over the money. Local branches control most of the donations and don’t give headquarters details of their finances. Not surprisingly, they resist all attempts at tighter financial control at the national level. CBS News also reported that 9/11 exposed the fact that the charity’s National Disaster Fund was a “leaky piggy bank,” which local chapters could dip into any time they wanted, theoretically to help disaster victims, but there was absolutely no oversight to make sure that actually happened. Employees could have simply been taking the money with slim chances of getting caught. (This is why I always say, Charity should be more personal and face It should be local. People giving to those around them. Where you can see the results first hand. That way it blesses both the receiver and the giver. It cuts out the middle man and any “administrative costs”, and reduces theft and corruption.)
THEIR RECENT MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN A DISASTER
It’s no surprise the American Red Cross is having serious issues, considering some of their recent CEOs. One was forced to resign over her mismanagement of 9/11 relief efforts. Another served for just six months before it was revealed he was having an extramarital affair with a subordinate and had gotten her pregnant. A former AT&T executive was appointed in his place in 2008, and she said there would be “a Red Cross location in every single community,” according to Digg. Instead, she slashed payroll by a third, getting rid of thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of chapters.
Many long-term volunteers were so disgusted they left in protest. One wrote on a Red Cross Facebook group in 2015, “It is time for our leadership to go. We have squandered a century of public trust, goodwill and support in ten years.”
The loss of money and qualified volunteers of course affected their ability to help people. When a wildfire swept through three California counties in 2015, Red Cross efforts to help were so subpar that local officials kicked them out. It was probably no coincidence that they’d closed numerous chapters in that exact area the previous year. And the amount a family would get in aid if their house burned down was cut almost in half.
The blood business lost $100 million in 2014, their CPR classes also lost money, and for many years the whole charity ran a huge deficit. Yet all the top managers still got their bonuses.
THE ANTI-RED CROSS MOVEMENT IS GROWING
As the pile of epic American Red Cross disasters grows, people are starting to notice, and momentum is growing to start sending donations elsewhere.
Slate says the Red Cross “has proven itself unequal to the task of massive disaster relief.” An op-ed in the State informs you “the Red Cross simply isn’t a responsible steward of other people’s money.” Gawker, showing the rigorous journalistic integrity it was always known for summed it up simply: If you were considering donating to the Red Cross after a disaster, “F*ck that.” You can’t miss the Stranger’s emphatic declaration that if someone tells you to give money to the Red Cross, “DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM.” Vibe reports a Houston City Council member called donating to them a “waste of money.” And USA Today highlighted the growing trend on social media of people urging others to pick a different charity. They are far from the only ones.
As Slate says, “Some people get personally offended by talk like this. … They are being generous, and they hope it might help.” It’s not nice to hear that money you’ve given in the past went to waste. Or that it was a mistake to point your friends and family to the American Red Cross donation page. But you didn’t know then. Now you can do your own research into charities during a disaster, and pick a more successful, more deserving one to generously give you hard-earned dollars to.
Read More: https://www.grunge.com/136639/the-untold-truth-of-the-american-red-cross/?utm_campaign=clip
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Live Action has been conducting multi-state investigations of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry since 2007. These investigations and subsequent public education campaigns have revealed malfeasance, lawlessness, and contempt for human life and safety at all levels of the organization, from the local counselors and nurses all the way up to the CEO’s desk.
Trough staffrings and organization-wide “retraining” regimens, even Planned Parenthood itself has confirmed the le gitimacy of Live Action’s findings (1). Meanwhile, state and federal responses to Live Action’s exposés include criminal investigations (2), abortion center de-licensing (3), and the loss of over $71 million in taxpayer funding (4).
Six years of undercover investigations and reporting by Live Action show that Planned Parenthood facilities consistently engage in the following:
In light of these continued ofenses and criminal acts by Planned Parenthood, Live Action urges local, state, and
federal authorities, in the interest of justice, to take the following measures:
The Following is the brief Overview of Planned Parenthood from this PDF. You can view all of their findings by viewing the PDF: CLICK HERE
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the largest and oldest abortion business in the nation. Originally founded by Margaret Sanger in 1916 to promote eugenics – “selective breeding,” through which only those deemed “fit” to reproduce may have children –Planned Parenthood has grown to become the dominant corporation of the abortion industry and lobby.
Planned Parenthood, through over 80 affiliates, operates more than 700 facilities nationwide. Over 40% of those facilities perform surgical or medical abortions, and those facilities that cannot perform abortions themselves all refer to nearby Planned Parenthood facilities that can. Planned Parenthood boasted committing 327,166 abortions – about a third of the national total – in FY 2011-2012, the latest year with available data.
At a low-estimate average price of $451 per procedure, abortion accounts for nearly $150 million in annual revenue for Planned Parenthood. This is nearly half of the $320 million Planned Parenthood generates from its facilities’ operations each year. Overall, Planned Parenthood has a $1.2-billion annual budget, about 45% of which comes from government funding. Tat is $541 million in the last reported year, or over $1.5 million a day in the form of taxpayer funds to the biggest abortion corporation in America.
Planned Parenthood lobbies against every possible law – from bans on sex-selective abortion to increased waiting periods before an abortion can be committed – that might curtail “abortion rights,” through all nine months of pregnancy, at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, the organization shows little respect even for the laws currently on the books, from various state mandatory
reporting requirements for suspected statutory rape to the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002.
Out of the pockets of taxpayers, and upon the broken bodies of pre-born children Planned Parenthood has built an abortion empire masked in the moderate facade of a mainstream medical provider. Planned Parenthood’s size, resources, and public image make it the most potent propagator of legal abortion in America. Therefore, stopping Planned Parenthood is a critical step to ending abortion.
Cancer Prevention Coalition Calls for An Economic Boycott of the American Cancer Society.*
*This article is based on Chapter 16 and 18 of THE POLITICS OF CANCER REVISITED, 1998, East Ridge press, Fremont Center, New York 12736 (1-800-269-2921). For a more detailed text and citations, see “American Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest ‘Non-profit’ Institution,” International Journal of Health Services 29(3): 565-578, 1999.
The American Cancer Society (ACS), the world’s wealthiest “non-profit institution”, is fixated on damage control – screening, diagnosis and treatment, – and genetic research, with indifference or even hostility to cancer prevention. Together with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the ACS has failed to provide Congress, regulatory agencies and the public with the strong body of scientific evidence clearly relating the escalating incidence of non-smoking related cancers to involuntary and avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, the workplace, and consumer products – – food, cosmetics and toiletries – – so that appropriate corrective and legislative regulatory and action has not been taken. Nor have citizens been provided with available information to protect themselves against avoidable cancer risks. As such, the ACS bears a heavy responsibility for the current cancer epidemic, with lifetime risks now approaching one in two for men and one in three for women. These concerns are further compounded by incestuous conflicts of interest, apart from serious financial irregularities.
Track Record on Prevention
Marching in lockstep with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in its “war” on cancer is its “ministry of information,” the ACS. With powerful media control and public relations resources, the ACS is the tail that wags the dog of the policies and priorities of the NCI. In addition, the approach of the ACS to cancer prevention reflects a virtually exclusionary “blame-the-victim” philosophy. It emphasizes faulty lifestyle rather than unknowing and avoidable exposures to workplace or environmental carcinogens. Giant corporations, which profit handsomely while they pollute the air, water, and food with a wide range of carcinogens, are greatly comforted by the silence of the ACS.
Indeed, despite promises to the public to do everything to “wipe out cancer in your lifetime,” the ACS fails to make its voice heard in Congress and the regulatory arena. Instead, the ACS has repeatedly rejected or ignored opportunities and requests from Congressional committees, regulatory agencies, unions, and environmental organizations to provide scientific testimony critical to legislate and regulate a wide range of occupational and environmental carcinogens. This history of ACS unresponsiveness is a long and damning one:
- In 1971, when studies unequivocally proved that diethylstilbestrol (DES) caused vaginal cancers in teenaged daughters of women administered the drug during pregnancy, the ACS refused an invitation to testify at Congressional hearings to require the FDA to ban its use as an animal feed additive.
- In 1977 and 1978, the ACS opposed proposed regulations for hair coloring products that contained dyes known to cause breast and liver cancer in rodents in spite of the clear evidence of human risk.
- In 1977, the ACS called for a Congressional moratorium on the FDA’s proposed ban on saccharin and even advocated its use by nursing mothers and babies in “moderation” despite clear-cut evidence of its carcinogenicity in rodents. This reflects the consistent rejection by the ACS of the importance of animal evidence as predictive of human cancer risk.
- In 1977 and 1978, the ACS opposed proposed regulations for hair coloring products that contained dyes suspected of causing breast cancer. In so doing, the ACS ignored virtually every tenet of responsible public health as these chemicals were clear-cut liver and breast carcinogens.
- In 1978, Tony Mazzocchi, then senior representative of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union, stated at a Washington, D.C. roundtable between public interest groups and high-ranking ACS officials: “Occupational safety standards have received no support from the ACS.”
- In 1978, Congressman Paul Rogers censured the ACS for doing “too little, too late” in failing to support the Clean Air Act.
- In 1982, the ACS adopted a highly restrictive cancer policy that insisted on unequivocal human evidence of carcinogenicity before taking any position on public health hazards. Accordingly, the ACS still trivializes or rejects evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, and has actively campaigned against laws (the 1958 Delaney Law, for instance) that ban deliberate addition to food of any amount of any additive shown to cause cancer in either animals or humans. The ACS still persists in an anti-Delaney policy, in spite of the overwhelming support for the Delaney Law by the independent scientific community.
- In 1983, the ACS refused to join a coalition of the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association to support the Clean Air Act.
- In 1992, the ACS issued a joint statement with the Chlorine Institute in support of the continued global use of organochlorine pesticides despite clear evidence that some were known to cause breast cancer. In this statement, Society Vice President Clark Heath, M.D., dismissed evidence of this risk as “preliminary and mostly based on weak and indirect association.” Heath then went on to explain away the blame for increasing breast cancer rates as due to better detection: “Speculation that such exposures account for observed geographic differences in breast cancer incidence or for recent rises in breast cancer occurrence should be received with caution; more likely, much of the recent rise in incidence in the United States . . . reflects increased utilization of mammography over the past decade.”
- In 1992, in conjunction with the NCI, the ACS aggressively launched a “chemoprevention” program aimed at recruiting 16,000 healthy women at supposedly “high risk” of breast cancer into a 5-year clinical trial with a highly profitable drug called tamoxifen. This drug is manufactured by one of the world’s most powerful cancer drug industries, Zeneca, an offshoot of the Imperial Chemical Industries. The women were told that the drug was essentially harmless, and that it could reduce their risk of breast cancer. What the women were not told was that tamoxifen had already been shown to be a highly potent liver carcinogen in rodent tests, and also that it was well-known to induce aggressive human uterine cancer.
- In 1993, just before PBS Frontline aired the special entitled, “In Our Children’s Food,” the ACS came out in support of the pesticide industry. In a damage-control memorandum sent to some forty-eight regional divisions, the ACS trivialized pesticides as a cause of childhood cancer, and reassured the public that carcinogenic pesticide residues in food are safe, even for babies. When the media and concerned citizens called local ACS chapters, they received reassurances from an ACS memorandum by its Vice President for Public Relations: “The primary health hazards of pesticides are from direct contact with the chemicals at potentially high doses, for example, farm workers who apply the chemicals and work in the fields after the pesticides have been applied, and people living near aerially sprayed fields. . . . The ACS believes that the benefits of a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweigh the largely theoretical risks posed by occasional, very low pesticide residue levels in foods.”
- In September 1996, the ACS together with a diverse group of patient and physician organizations, filed a “citizen’s petition” to pressure FDA to ease restrictions on access to silicone gel breast implants. What the ACS did not disclose was that the gel in these implants had clearly been shown to induce cancer in several industry rodent studies, and that these implants were also contaminated with other potent carcinogens such as ethylene oxide and crystalline silica.
- In “Cancer Facts & Figures, 1998,” the latest annual ACS publication designed to provide the public and medical profession with “Basic Facts” on cancer — other than information on incidence, mortality, signs and symptoms, and treatment — there is little or no mention of prevention. Examples include: no mention of dusting the genital area with talc as a known cause of ovarian cancer; no mention of parental exposure to occupational carcinogens as a major cause of childhood cancer; and no mention of prolonged use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy as major causes of breast cancer. For breast cancer, ACS states: “Since women may not be able to alter their personal risk factors, the best opportunity for reducing mortality is through early detection.” In other words, breast cancer is not preventable in spite of clear evidence that its incidence has escalated over recent decades, and in spite of an overwhelming literature on avoidable causes of this cancer. In the section on “Nutrition and Diet,” no mention at all is made of the heavy contamination of animals and dairy fats and produce with a range of carcinogenic pesticide residues, and on the need to switch to safer organic foods.
This abysmal track record on prevention has been the subject of periodic protests by both independent scientists and public interest groups. A well publicized example was a New York City January 23, 1984 press conference, sponsored by Dr. Samuel S. Epstein and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The press release stated:
A group of 24 scientists charged that the ACS was doing little to protect the public from cancer-causing chemicals in the environment and workplace. The scientists urged ACS to revamp its policies and to emphasize prevention in its lobbying and educational campaigns.
The scientists, who included Matthew Meselson and Nobel laureate George Wald, both of Harvard University; former OSHA director Eula Bingham; Samuel Epstein; and Anthony Robbins, past president of the American Public Health Association, strongly criticized the ACS for insisting on unequivocal human proof that a substance is carcinogenic before it will recommend its regulation.
Bloated Operating Budgets and Misallocations:
The ACS is accumulating great wealth in its role as a “charity.” According to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University and recognized authority on charitable organizations, the ACS held a fund balance of over $400 million with about $69 million of holdings in land, buildings, and equipment in 1988. Of that money, the ACS spent only $90 million —26 percent of its budget– on medical research and programs. The rest covered “operating expenses,” including about 60 percent for generous salaries, pensions, executive benefits, and overhead. By 1989, the cash reserves of the ACS were worth more than $700 million. In 1991, Americans, believing they were contributing to fighting cancer, gave nearly $350 million to the ACS, 6 percent more than the previous year.
By 1992, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the ACS was “more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives.” Fundraising appeals routinely stated that the ACS needed more funds to support their cancer programs, all the while holding more than $750 million in cash and real estate assets.
A 1992 article in the Wall Street Journal by Thomas DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College and veteran investigator of nonprofit organizations, revealed that the Texas affiliate of the ACS owned more than $11 million worth of assets in land and real estate, as well as more than fifty-six vehicles, including eleven Ford Crown Victorias for senior executives and forty-five other cars assigned to staff members. Arizona’s ACS chapter spent less than 10 percent of its funds on direct community cancer services. In California, the figure was 11 percent, and under 9 percent in Missouri.
Thus for every $1 spent on direct service, approximately $6.40 is spent on compensation and overhead. In all ten states, salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services. Nationally, only 16 percent or less of all money raised is spent on direct services to cancer victims, like driving cancer patients from the hospital after chemotherapy, and providing pain medication.
Most of the funds raised by ACS go to pay overhead, salaries, fringe benefits, and travel expenses of its national executives in Atlanta. They also go to pay Chief Executive Officers, who earn six-figure salaries in several states, and the hundreds of other employees who work out of some 3,000 regional offices nationwide. The typical ACS affiliate, which helps raise the money for the national office, spends more than 52 percent of its budget on salaries, pensions, fringe benefits, and overhead for its own employees.
Salaries and overhead for most ACS affiliates also exceeded 50 percent, although most direct community services are handled by unpaid volunteers. DiLorenzo summed up his findings by emphasizing the hoarding of funds by the ACS.
If current needs are not being met because of insufficient funds, as fund-raising appeals suggest, why is so much cash being hoarded? Most contributors believe their donations are being used to fight cancer, not to accumulate financial reserves. More progress in the war against cancer would be made if they would divest some of their real estate holdings and use the proceeds — as well as a portion of their cash reserves — to provide more cancer services.
Aside from high salaries and overhead, most of what is left of the ACS budget goes to basic research and research into profitable patented cancer drugs.
The current budget of the ACS is $380 million and its cash reserves approach one billion dollars. Yet its aggressive fund-raising campaign continues to plead poverty and lament the lack of available money for cancer research, while ignoring efforts to prevent cancer by phasing out avoidable exposures to environmental and occupational carcinogens. Meanwhile, the ACS is silent about its intricate relationships with the wealthy cancer drug, chemical, and other industries.
A March 30, 1998 Associated Press Release has shed unexpected light on questionable ACS expenditures on lobbying. National Vice President for federal and state governmental relations Linda Hay Crawford admitted that the ACS was spending “less than $1 million a year on direct lobbying.” She also admitted that over the last year, the society used 10 of its own employees to lobby. “For legal and other help, it hired the lobbying firm of Hogan & Hartson, whose roster includes former House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel (R-IL).” The ACS lobbying also included $30,000 donations to Democratic and Republican governor’s associations. “We wanted to look like players and be players,” explained Crawford. This practice, however, has been sharply challenged. The AP release quotes the national Charities Information Bureau as stating that it “does not know of any other charity that makes contributions to political parties.”
Tax experts have warned that these contributions may be illegal, as charities are not allowed to make political donations. Marcus Owens, director of the IRS Exempt Organization Division also warned that: “The bottom line is campaign contributions will jeopardize a charity’s exempt status.”
Conflicts of Interest
In the past most ACS funds have come from public donations, and high-profile fund raising campaigns such as the springtime daffodil sale and the May relay races. However, over the last two decades, an increasing proportion of the ACS budget comes from large corporations, including the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, telecommunications, and entertainment industries. In 1992, the American Cancer Society Foundation was created to allow the ACS to actively solicit contributions of more than $100,000. However, a close look at the heavy-hitters on the Foundation’s board will give an idea of which interests are at play and where the Foundation expects its big contributions to come from.
The Foundation’s board of trustees included corporate executives from the pharmaceutical, investment, banking, and media industries. Among them:
- David R. Bethune, president of Lederle Laboratories, a multinational pharmaceutical company and a division of American Cyanamid Company. Bethune is also vice president of American Cyanamid, which makes chemical fertilizers and herbicides while transforming itself into a full-fledged pharmaceutical company. In 1988, American Cyanamid introduced Novatrone, an anti-cancer drug. And in 1992, it announced that it would buy a majority of shares of Immunex, a cancer drug maker.
- Multimillionaire Irwin Beck, whose father, William Henry Beck, founded the nation’s largest family-owned retail chain, Beck Stores, which analysts estimate brought in revenues of $1.7 billion in 1993.
- Gordon Binder, CEO of Amgen, the world’s foremost biotechnology company, with over $1 billion in product sales in 1992. Amgen’s success rests almost exclusively on one product, Neupogen, which is administered to chemotherapy patients to stimulate their production of white blood cells. As the cancer epidemic grows, sales for Neupogen continue to skyrocket.
- George Dessert, famous in media circles for his former role as censor on the subject of “family values” during the 70s and 80s as CEO of CBS, and now Chairman of the ACS board.
- Alan Gevertzen, chairman of the board of Boeing, the world’s number one commercial aircraft maker with net sales of $30 billion in 1992.
- Sumner M. Redstone, chairman of the board, Viacom Inc. and Viacom International Inc., a broadcasting, telecommunications, entertainment, and cable television corporation.
The results of this board’s efforts have been very successful. A million here, a million there –much of it coming from the very industries instrumental in shaping ACS policy, or profiting from it.
The Cancer Drug Industry
The intimate association between the ACS and cancer drug industry, with current annual sales of about $12 billion, is further illustrated by the unbridled aggression which the Society has directed at potential competitors of the industry.
Just as Senator Joseph McCarthy had his “black list” of suspected communists and Richard Nixon his environmental activist “enemies list,” so too, the ACS has maintained a “Committee on Unproven Methods of Cancer Management” which periodically “reviews” unorthodox or alternative therapies. This Committee is comprised of “volunteer health care professionals,” carefully selected proponents of orthodox, expensive, and usually toxic drugs patented by major pharmaceutical companies, and opponents of alternative or “unproven” therapies which are generally cheap, non-patentable, and minimally toxic.
Periodically, the Committee updates its statements on “unproven methods,” which are then widely disseminated to clinicians, cheerleader science writers (such as Jane Brody, Gina Kolata, and Natalie Angier of the New York Times), and the public. Once a clinician or oncologist becomes associated with “unproven methods,” he or she is blackballed by the cancer establishment. Funding for the accused “quack” becomes inaccessible, followed by systematic harassment.
The highly biased ACS witch-hunts against alternative practitioners is in striking contrast to its extravagant and uncritical endorsement of conventional toxic chemotherapy. This in spite of the absence of any objective evidence of improved survival rates or reduced mortality following chemotherapy for all but some relatively rare cancers.
In response to pressure from People Against Cancer, a grassroots group of cancer patients disillusioned with conventional cancer therapy, in 1986 some 40 members of Congress requested the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a Congressional think tank, to evaluate available information on alternative innovative therapies. While initially resistant, OTA eventually published a September 1990 report (available online at: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota/disk2/1990/9044_n.html ) that identified some 200 promising studies on alternative therapies. OTA concluded that NCI had “a mandated responsibility to pursue this information and facilitate examination of widely used ‘unconventional cancer treatments’ for therapeutic potential.”
Yet, until very recently, the ACS and NCI remained resistant, if not frankly hostile, to OTA’s recommendations. In the January 1991 issue of its Cancer Journal for Clinicians ACS referred to the Hoxsey therapy, a nontoxic combination of herb extracts developed in the 1940s by populist Harry Hoxsey, as a “worthless tonic for cancer.” However, a detailed critique of Hoxsey’s treatment by Dr. Patricia Spain Ward, a leading contributor to the OTA report, concluded just the opposite: “More recent literature leaves no doubt that Hoxsey’s formula does indeed contain many plant substances of marked therapeutic activity.”
Nor is this the first time that the Society’s claims of quackery have been called into question or discredited. A growing number of other innovative therapies originally attacked by the ACS have recently found less disfavor and even acceptance. These include hyperthemia, Tumor Necrosis Factor, (originally called Coleys’ Toxin), hydrazine sulfate, and Burzynski’s antineoplastons. Well over 100 promising alternative non-patented and nontoxic therapies have already been identified. Clearly, such treatments merit clinical testing and evaluation by the NCI using similar statistical techniques and criteria as established for conventional chemotherapy. However, while FDA has approved approximately 40 patented drugs for cancer treatment, it has still not approved a single non-patented alternative drug.
Subsequent events further isolated the ACS in its fixation on orthodox as opposed to complementary alternative treatments. Bypassing the ACS and NCI, the National Institutes of Health in June 1992 opened a new Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) for the investigation of unconventional treatment of cancer and other diseases. Leading proponents of conventional therapy were invited to participate. ACS refused. NCI grudgingly and nominally participated while actively attacking alternative therapy with its widely circulated Cancer Information Services. Meanwhile, NCI’s police partner, the FDA has used its enforcement authority against distributors and practitioners of innovative and nontoxic therapies.
In an interesting recent development, the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. held a two day conference on “Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” According to Dr. James Gordon, President of the Center and Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, the object of the conference was to bring together practitioners of mainstream and alternative medicine, together with cancer patients and high ranking officials of the ACS and NCI. Dr. Gordon warned alternative practitioners that “they’re going to need to get more rigorous with their work — to be accepted by the mainstream community.” However, no such warning was directed at the highly questionable claims by NCI and ACS for the efficacy of conventional cancer chemotherapy. As significantly, criticism of the establishment’s minimalistic priority for cancer prevention was effectively discouraged by Dr. Gordon. In the fall of 1998 OAM was upgraded by congress to an autonomous institute, “The National Center for Complimentary Alternative Medicine,” forcing the ACS to cease attacks on cancer “quackery.”
The Mammography Industry
The ACS has close connections to the mammography industry. Five radiologists have served as ACS presidents, and in its every move, the ACS reflects the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and film, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Piker. In fact, if every woman were to follow ACS and NCI mammography guidelines, the annual revenue to health care facilities would be a staggering $5 billion, including at least $2.5 billion for premenopausal women.
Promotions of the ACS continue to lure women of all ages into mammography centers, leading them to believe that mammography is their best hope against breast cancer. A leading Massachusetts newspaper featured a photograph of two women in their twenties in an ACS advertisement that promised early detection results in a cure “nearly 100 percent of the time.” An ACS communications director, questioned by journalist Kate Dempsey, responded in an article published by the Massachusetts Women’s Community Cancer Project:
The ad isn’t based on a study. When you make an advertisement, you just say what you can to get women in the door. You exaggerate a point. . . . Mammography today is a lucrative (and) highly competitive business.
In addition, the mammography industry conducts research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on advisory boards, and donates considerable funds. DuPont also is a substantial backer of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program; sponsors television shows and other media productions touting mammography; produces advertising, promotional, and information literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organizations, and doctors; produces educational films; and, of course, lobbies Congress for legislation promoting availability of mammography services. In virtually all of its important actions, the ACS has been strongly linked with the mammography industry, ignoring the development of viable alternatives to mammography.
The ACS exposes premenopausal women to radiation hazards from mammography with little or no evidence of benefits. The ACS also fails to tell them that their breasts will change so much over time that the “baseline” images have little or no future relevance. This is truly an American Cancer Society crusade. But against whom, or rather for whom?
The highly publicized “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” campaign further illustrates these institutionalized conflicts of interest with the mammography and cancer drug industries. ACS and NCI representatives help sponsor promotional events, hold interviews, and stress the need for mammography every October. The flagship of this month-long series of events is National Mammography Day on October 17 in 1997. Conspicuously absent from the public relations campaign of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is any information on environmental and other avoidable causes of breast cancer. This is no accident. Zeneca Pharmaceuticals — a spin-off of Imperial Chemical Industries, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chlorinated and other industrial chemicals, including those incriminated as causes of breast cancer — has been the sole multimillion-dollar funder of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month since its inception in 1984. Zeneca is also the sole manufacturer of tamoxifen, the world’s top-selling anticancer and breast cancer “prevention” drug, with $400 million in annual sales. Furthermore, Zeneca recently assumed direct management of eleven cancer centers in United States hospitals. Zeneca owns a 50 percent stake in these centers known collectively as Salick Health Care, posing serious conflict’s of interest.
The link between the ACS and NCI and Zeneca is especially strong when it comes to tamoxifen. The ACS and NCI continue aggressively to promote the tamoxifen trial, which is the cornerstone of its minimal prevention program. On March 7, 1997, the NCI Press Office released a four-page “For Response to Inquiries on Breast Cancer.” The brief section on prevention reads:
Researchers are looking for a way to prevent breast cancer in women at high risk. . . . A large study (is underway) to see if the drug tamoxifen will reduce cancer risk in women age 60 or older and in women 35 to 59 who have a pattern of risk factors for breast cancer. This study is also a model for future studies of cancer prevention. Studies of diet and nutrition could also lead to preventive strategies.
Since Zeneca influences every leaflet, poster, publication, and commercial produced by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is no wonder these publications make no mention of carcinogenic industrial chemicals and their relation to breast cancer. Imperial Chemical Industries, Zeneca’s parent company, profits by manufacturing breast-cancer-causing chemicals. Zeneca profits from treatment of breast cancer, and hopes to profit still more from the prospects of large-scale national use of tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a masterful public relations coup for Zeneca, providing the company with valuable, if ill-placed, good will from millions of American women.
The Pesticide Industry
Just how inbred the relations between the ACS and the chemical industry are became clear in the spring of 1993 to Marty Koughan, a public television producer. Koughan was about to broadcast a documentary on the dangers of pesticides to children for the Public Broadcasting Service’s hour-long show, “Frontline.” Koughan’s investigation relied heavily on an embargoed, ground-breaking report issued by the National Academy of Sciences in June of 1993 entitled “Pesticides in the Diet of Children.” This report declared the nation’s food supply “inadequately protected” from cancer-causing pesticides and a significant threat to the health of children.
An earlier report, issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1989, “Intolerable Risk: Pesticides in our Children’s Food,” had also given pesticide manufacturers failing marks. The report was released in high profile testimony to Congress by movie actress Meryl Streep. A mother of young children, Streep explained to a packed House chamber the report’s findings, namely, that children were most at risk from cancer-causing pesticides on our food because they consume a disproportionate amount of fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables relative to their size, and because their bodies are still forming.
Shortly before Koughan’s program was due to air, a draft of the script was mysteriously leaked to Porter-Novelli, a powerful public relations firm for produce growers and the agrichemical industry. In true Washington fashion, Porter-Novelli plays both sides of the fence, representing both government agencies and the industries they regulate. Its client list in 1993 included Ciba-Geigy, DuPont, Monsanto, Burroughs Wellcome, American Petroleum Institute, Bristol-Meyers-Squibb, Hoffman-LaRoche, Hoechst Celanese, Hoechst Roussel Pharmaceutical, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, the Center for Produce Quality, as well as the USDA, the NCI, plus other National Institutes of Health.
Porter-Novelli first crafted a rebuttal to help the manufacturers quell public fears about pesticide-contaminated food. Next, Porter-Novelli called up another client, the ACS, for whom Porter-Novelli had done pro bono work for years. The rebuttal that Porter-Novelli had just sent off to its industry clients was faxed to ACS Atlanta headquarters. It was then circulated internationally by e-mail on March 22, 1993, virtually verbatim from the memo Porter-Novelli had crafted for a backgrounder for 3,000 regional ACS offices to have in hand to help field calls from the public after the show aired.
The program makes unfounded suggestions . . . that pesticide residue in food may be at hazardous levels,” the ACS memo read. “Its use of a ‘cancer cluster’ leukemia case reports and non-specific community illnesses as alleged evidence of pesticide effects in people is unfortunate. We know of no community cancer clusters which have been shown to be anything other than chance grouping of cases and none in which pesticide use was confirmed as the cause.
This bold, unabashed defense of the pesticide industry, crafted by Porter-Novelli, was then rehashed a third time, this time by the right-wing group, Accuracy in Media. AIM’s newsletter gleefully published quotes from the ACS memo in an article with the banner headline: “Junk Science on PBS.” The article opened with “Can we afford the Public Broadcasting Service?” and went on to disparage Koughan’s documentary on pesticides and children. “In Our Children’s Food . . . exemplified what the media have done to produce these ‘popular panics’ and the enormously costly waste (at PBS) cited by the New York Times.”
When Koughan saw the AIM article he was initially outraged that the ACS was being used to defend the pesticide industry. “At first, I assumed complete ignorance on the part of the ACS,” said Koughan. But after repeatedly trying, without success, to get the national office to rebut the AIM article, Koughan began to see what was really going on. “When I realized Porter-Novelli represented five agrichemical companies, and that the ACS had been a client for years, it became obvious that the ACS had not been fooled at all,” said Koughan. “They were willing partners in the deception, and were in fact doing a favor for a friend _ by flakking for the agrichemical industry.”
Charles Benbrook, former director of the National Academy of Sciences Board of Agriculture, worked on the pesticide report by the Academy of Sciences that the PBS special would preview. He charged that the role of the ACS as a source of information for the media representing the pesticide and product industry was “unconscionable.” Investigative reporter Sheila Kaplan, in a 1993 Legal Times article, went still further: “What they did was clearly and unequivocally over the line, and constitutes a major conflict of interest.”
The Role of the ACS in the War Against Cancer
The verdict is unassailable. The ACS bears a major responsibility for losing the winnable war against cancer.
The launching of the 1971 War Against Cancer provided the ACS with a well-exploited opportunity to pursue it own myopic and self-interested agenda. Its strategies remain based on two myths — that there has been dramatic progress in the treatment and cure of cancer, and that any increase in the incidence and mortality of cancer is due to aging of the population and smoking while denying any significant role for involuntary exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, consumer products and the workplace.
As the world’s largest non-religious “charity,” with powerful allies in the private and public sectors, ACS policies and priorities remain unchanged. In spite of periodic protests, threats of boycotts, and questions on its finances, the Society leadership responds with powerful PR campaigns reflecting denial and manipulated information, and pillorying its opponents with scientific McCarthyism.
The verdict is unassailable. The ACS bears a major responsibility for losing the winnable war against cancer.
Reforming the American Cancer Society: What to do about it
Reforming the ACS is, in principle, relatively easy and directly achievable. Boycott the ACS. Instead give your charitable contributions to public interest and environmental groups involved in cancer prevention. Such a boycott is well overdue and will send the only message this “charity” can no longer ignore. The Cancer Prevention Coalition and some breast cancer groups have already taken steps in this direction.
- Boycott all ACS events. Better yet, organize counter-protests at events sponsored by ACS.
- Refuse to donate to the ACS and let them know in writing as to why you are doing so.
- Donate to organizations that are concerned with cancer prevention, better yet join these organizations.
- Please link this document to your websites.
- Organize protests outside ACS offices.
- Circulate petitions to be signed by your members and send to your local ACS office.
In the wake of tragedies large and small, they pop up like mushrooms after a rain. With tales of woe and heartbreaking images of children or helpless animals, they beg for assistance. They are the tragi-charities. One hit wonders seeking to cash in on the tragedy of the day from floods and fires to missing children and more.
Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?
The pop-up charity business is usually local, occasionally regional and rarely national. Mostly they are the products of individual scammers who smell an opportunity to cash in using the name of a victim who may or may not even be real. They count on local press coverage and a quick website. These ‘charities’ usually rake in a few thousand dollars and disappear.
Then there are the professional long term operations. They utilize direct mail or telemarketers to solicit millions of dollars in donations from unsuspecting individuals and businesses. Are you concerned you’ve already been scammed or just want to make sure you won’t be in the future? Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. Kids Wish Network
2. Cancer Fund of America
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
8. National Veterans Service Fund
9. American Association of State Troopers
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America
11. Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
12. Youth Development Fund
13. Committee For Missing Children
14. Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
15. Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)
16. National Caregiving Foundation
17. Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
18. United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
19. Vietnow National Headquarters
20. Police Protective Fund
21. National Cancer Coalition
22. Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation
23. American Foundation For Disabled Children
24. The Veterans Fund
25. Heart Support of America
26. Veterans Assistance Foundation
27. Children’s Charity Fund
28. Wishing Well Foundation USA
29. Defeat Diabetes Foundation
30. Disabled Police Officers of America Inc.
31. National Police Defense Foundation
32. American Association of the Deaf & Blind
33. Reserve Police Officers Association
34. Optimal Medical Foundation
35. Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation
36. Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
37. Children’s Leukemia Research Association
38. United Breast Cancer Foundation
39. Shiloh International Ministries
40. Circle of Friends For American Veterans
41. Find the Children
42. Survivors and Victims Empowered
43. Firefighters Assistance Fund
44. Caring for Our Children Foundation
45. National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition
46. American Foundation for Children With AIDS
47. Our American Veterans
48. Roger Wyburn- Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation for Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease
49. Firefighters Burn Fund
50. Hope Cancer Fund
This list was put together by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting based on federal tax filings for the last 10 years. Charities are broken up into five main categories: children, cancer, police/law enforcement, veterans, fire and other. These fifty charities account for more than $1.35 Billion in donations. Of that, $970 million went not to victims, but to the people who collected the money.
Related Article: 5 Ways You Can Donate to Charity Without Spending a Dime
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