[Three Cups of Deceit?] Greg Mortenson of CAI found guilty of misusing charity funds


MISSOULA, Mont. — Greg Mortenson, the author of “Three Cups of Tea,” has agreed to pay $1 million to compensate his Montana-based charity for using the group to promote and buy copies of his books, a report from the state attorney general said on Thursday.

The settlement between Mr. Mortenson; leaders of the charity he founded, called the Central Asia Institute; and Montana officials allows the charity to continue providing education to impoverished communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The office of the Montana attorney general, Steve Bullock, said its investigation, begun in April 2011 after a “60 Minutes” report, found the Central Asia Institute had spent nearly $4 million since 2006 to buy copies of Mr. Mortenson’s books, “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools.”

Buying those books generated royalties for Mr. Mortenson, and although he had agreed to provide a contribution to the Central Asia Institute equal to the amount of royalty payments he received from book sales, he had not done so as of April 2011, the attorney general’s report found.

He also collected money from the institute for travel expenses related to his speaking engagements, and the charity spent about $4.9 million to promote the two books, the report said.

The charity’s mission is to advance literacy and education in Central Asia, especially for girls, and it has financed the construction and operation of schools in the region.

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One Comment

  1. Ali Qurban Mughanni
    Schools Establish on the ice.
    Greg Mortenson a astute person who established schools on the ice in Gilgit Baltistan and in northern areas of Afghanistan. His instable schools begin dangling when the ice got melt. Before Mortenson several persons made this kind of abortive attempts in certain areas where there is utter lack of political set up and the innocent poor people are begging for their basic micro level infrastructure from certain beggars who beg and make fool the philanthropists and largesse institutions. Emotion and sympathy comes from the heart and it works for a while but then fizzle out. The prime example is the role of NGOs in the areas where people are still 95% dependent and dependent meant very far and unaware about the sustainability.
    Right from the binging when AKRSP intervene in Gilgit Baltistan, its slogan was save, organize and sustain, today apart from channels, bridges, roads and mini water generating electricity nothing has left from the slogans. Instead on its failure in its slogan AKRSP is famous for providing basic infrastructure because still the rights of preservation of projects are visible in the areas. But education is very invisible and demonstrates the positive and negative impact or result very long time after.
    AKESP and Government Directorate of Education’s role in Gilgit Baltistan remained reliable in mass education that provides human resources to the influx of NGOs and GOs. When the mass education gradually turned into quality education then people realized that mass education is insufficient with the advent of changes of present development. The first and most significant is shifting from traditional Government Organization to Non Government Organization that made the people compel to learn new things, which not only the people but the emerging NGOs immense demand and trust lay on foreign degree holders. Though the local people who have the potential to develop the areas.
    There for people swayed towards quality education and dragged their feet from Government and AKESP schools. And the trend of private schools boosted to fight the battle of quality education. This kind of changes left the poor people rudderless because they could not afford the unbearable fee amount of the private schools.
    The rising of private schools in villages and cities braved the poor incomers to solicit a way for their children’s proper education. For that purpose the tourist guides, lower and high altitude porters or tourist related persons who haunted certain friends and requested them to establish school for their children. Even some of them tried their best to get marry with the white ladies to increase their income as well as to support their villagers in various development sectors. Greg Mortenson is not the only example as he made him a single hero of the areas in his book “Three cups of tea”, there are hundreds of schools of other tourists who established really a tourist schools like a tourist who is today here and tomorrow somewhere else. Mortenson is really very emotional person who built hundreds of school buildings but what about their academic sustainability? No one knows. I myself visited in Shakurabad, Katpanah and Tenjos Skardo where the teachers and representatives of communities expressed their disappointing views about the poor condition of schools. Schools under CAI are pushing by the poor people without resources. Then what do we expect from this kind of person. He erected buildings for nothing. There is utter lack of accountability, supervision, monitoring and evaluation. Who is responsible and accountable only he knows better. Friends from Badakhshan Afghanistan are also very disappointed to leaving the schools building for animals or empty “ghost schools.”. Several tourists kept sympathy with certain innocent people like Haji Ali of Korphe or someone from other villages but all the efforts of such patrons or money minters could not conquer the heart of community. Yes this is true and no doubt their close affiliated local flatterers who had nothing, suddenly become money makers. Mortenson and his illiterate workers are one of the most prime examples. “The Montana attorney general’s inquiry into Greg Mortenson and the Bozeman-based Central Asia Institute could resolve whether they have done nothing wrong and spent all funds appropriately, or whether Mortenson benefited excessively and must repay potentially millions of dollars.” When some time hearts of innocent people calls for help but their brains do not fallow the call of hearts. They might be obedient by heart but not loyal by brain. Then things turn in favors of certain money stashers.
    Why “Three cups of tea” become very famous among the Americans? It really raises a question. Why millions copies of this book went hand to hand of Americans. Why American high officials of military recommended this book for a military soldier to study before entering in South and Central Asia and Afghanistan. When I went through this book (Three cups of deceit) thoroughly, then I realized that there are such wily persons who play with the unfortunate poor and innocent people just for the sack of their vested interest. I did not see any interesting things in this book except his personal exaggerated stories to make the Americans fool. As someone say it is more storytelling and outright lying.
    A person never is a true and faithful who kidnapped a child in Haiti earth quack disaster and committed corruption of millions of dollars. Concrete evidence that provided a worker from Gilgit Baltistn who remained with him has given to us, I don’t want to disclose his name, that compelled me to investigate for this article.
    There are such persons who appreciate these kinds of people and consider themselves very positive thinkers and blame others negative. These kinds of people are hypo crate of being positive for negative practices. They should gage the veracity then lay their statement. I invite them to come with me and make a visit to those schools and let hear the opinion of teachers and community representatives.

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