Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Mystery of Mother Teresa And Sainthood - Investigation by: Prabir Gosh

For several years Prabir Ghosh, general secretary of the Indian Rationalist and Scientific Thinking Association, has challenged Hindu "godmen" and exposed their miracles as what he describes as cheap hypnotic tricks better performed by magicians. Now he is challenging the claim of the Missionaries of charity, who say a photograph of their founder, Mother Teresa, when placed over the stomach of 30-year-old Monica Besra, cured her of a tumour.

Read more at: http://www.uniqueebook.com/freee-books/Mother_Teresa_Preview.pdf

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Deposition submitted by Aroup Chatterjee before the committee for beatification/canonization of Mother Teresa: "Mother of All Myths"

Deposition: “Mother of All Myths”

Deposition submitted by Aroup Chatterjee before the committee for beatification/canonization of Mother Teresa February 1998.

The Mother of All Myths

Being a lay person not versed in ecclesiastical procedures, I am not eminently suited to make a formal or technical deposition before the Committee. However, I have had a keen interest in Mother Teresa for the last few years and have researched her operations, perhaps more thoroughly than anyone else in the world. And, as somebody born, brought up and educated in Calcutta, I feel I am in a unique situation to offer evidence to the Committee. The Committee may summon me at any time to appear personally before it to offer evidence. I also put my audio visual evidence at the disposal of the Committee should it want to consult them.

Over the years I have been dismayed at the discrepancy between Mother Teresa’s words and her deeds, and here I present some of them. Mother Teresa had said many thousands of times in her life that she “pick[ed] up” people from the streets of Calcutta. She expounded on it at length in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Her order did (and does) not “pick up” destitutes from Calcutta’s streets. They do not provide an ambulance service for the city’s poorest of the poor. If one rings the Kalighat home for the dying destitute, one is told curtly to ring 102 (the Calcutta Corporation ambulance line) so that a Corporation vehicle would bring the destitute to Kalighat.

I believe that Mother Teresa had deliberately misled the world in her assertions about “picking up” destitutes from the streets of Calcutta in order to bolster her own image and that of her faith. Her failure to provide vehicles (whilst continually claiming to do so) is even more significant because she had been donated a number of ambulance vehicles. These are used mainly (though not solely) as vans to ferry nuns, often to and from places of prayer. I believe that this constitutes an abuse of other people’s trust in her.

Mother Teresa is on record in various publications (written by her friends and followers) as having said that her order fed 4000, 5000, 7000 or 9000 people in Calcutta everyday (the figures are not chronologically incremental). I do not know what she meant by feeding that number, but the fact remains that her soup kitchens (numbering between two and three) in Calcutta did (does) not feed more than 300 people daily (a generous over- estimate). The Committee should also take into account the “food cards” that poor people must possess to obtain ration in at least one soup kitchen. The Committee should note that such cards are not easy to come by for the poor, and that virtually all Christians in a particular slum have food cards, when hardly any of the poor from the other religions have them. This policy gives the lie to Mother Teresa’s assertions that she treated the poor from all faiths equally. On the issue of bias toward Catholicism, I would also like to tell the Committee that worship inside Mother Teresa’s homes is solely Catholic, and non-Catholic worship is not at all permitted therein. This practice should be judged in the context of a minute proportion of the residents in her homes in Calcutta being of the Catholic faith. I would like to draw the Committee’s attention to Mother Teresa’s frequent pronouncement: “I help a Hindu to become a better Hindu, a Muslim to become a better Muslim…..” etc. The practice of denying poor people under her care the right to worship their own god(s) can be judged as harsh and demeaning.

Mother Teresa once said, “If there are poor on the moon, we will go there.” She said many times that she never refused anybody who needed help. In reality however, her order operated strict exclusion criteria in their selection of who to help and who not to. Mother Teresa’s order did (does) not help anybody, no matter how poor or helpless, who had a family member of any kind — what they term a “family case”. (That is one practice he doesn’t like which I agree with. The family should take care of their own first. Too bad we don’t do that here with welfare)

One of Mother Teresa’s slogans had been ,”Bring me that unwanted child.” In her Nobel Prize speech she said, “Let us bring the child back. …….What have we done for the child? ………..Have we really made the children wanted?” If the Committee examines what Mother Teresa had done for street children (in Calcutta), it may find that she fell short of optimal standard. Despite her assertions, she did not operate an “open door” policy at her homes for the poor, including for poor children. A very poor and very ill child would not be offered help unless the parents signed (or thumb-printed) a form of renunciation signing over the rights of the child to her organisation. I have video evidence of such a case happening on the doorstep of Mother Teresa’s orphanage.(Is that charity? “Sign over your child to us or we let them starve!!!”?)

The Committee may also want to interview street children from around Mother House who were repeatedly reported to the police by Mother Teresa’s nuns for “pestering” foreigners who came to visit the “living saint”. I have video interviews with such children, which the Committee may like to consult.

In her famous letter written in 1978 to the then Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai in protest against the curbing of Christian missionary activities, Mother Teresa mentioned that she operated “102 centres” of natural family in Calcutta. The Committee should heed that such centres do not exist. The Committee should also note that in her Nobel Prize speech Mother Teresa had said that in 6 years in Calcutta there were “61,273 babies less” born because of her organisation’s natural family planning activities. There is no basis whatever for this statistic, and it was disingenuous of Mother Teresa to mention it in her Nobel Prize speech.

In the April 1996 issue of the US magazine Ladies Home Journal, Mother Teresa said that she wanted to die like the poor in her home for the dying destitute in Kalighat. This is a very outrageous statement indeed. By then she had had numerous in-patient medical treatments in some of the most expensive clinics around the world. This includes the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California and the Gemelli Hospital in Rome. She also had numerous treatments at Calcutta’s Woodlands and Belle Vue Clinics, which are outside the reach of 99% of India’s population. She also received (on numerous occasions) sophisticated and expensive cardiac treatments at Calcutta’s Birla Heart Institute.

When Mother Teresa died, she was surrounded in her bedroom by sophisticated and expensive cardiac equipment, which had been specially fitted for her. Such privilege is usually granted to kings, presidents and dictators. Whether such exclusive facilities befit a future Saint is for the Committee to decide, but I would ask it to take note of the wide discrepancy between Mother Teresa’s deeds and her pronouncements. In 1984 Mother Teresa (publicly) declined the offer of cataract surgery from the St Francis Medical Centre in Pittsburgh, USA, telling the media that she could not possibly accept the £5000 treatment; but the very next year she had the same surgery (which cost even more) in St Vincent’s Hospital , New York.

I think Mother Teresa (or anybody else) should receive the best possible medical treatment, but she utterly failed giving her residents (at least in Calcutta) the minimum dignity and treatment — despite her vast resources. The residents at Kalighat were denied beds — they were forced to lie on hammocks, known by her order as “pallets”. They were not allowed to get up from their pallets and stretch themselves. They are denied visits from friends and relatives — indeed they would not be admitted in the first place if they had any relatives. They are forced to defecate and urinate communally. They are given only the simplest possible treatments, such as simple painkillers for the intractable pain of terminally ill residents. Gloves and more importantly, needles are routinely re-used when deadly diseases are rife within this population. It has to be borne in mind that the home for the dying in Calcutta is a very small operation, catering to less than 100 people — is it not legitimate to expect a minimum decent standard for these few people? What does the Committee think?

Except for adequate and simple food, the regime in the home is very harsh indeed — some would call it dehumanising; apart from the above points mentioned, I would like to draw attention of the Committee to the compulsory shaving of the heads of residents, including of female ones. The Committee should take cognisance of the particular importance Indian women (however poor or destitute) attach to long hair.

One could perhaps overlook the medical facilities at Kalighat (although the Committee should not perhaps ignore such dismal standards from a woman with such resources) but where Mother Teresa failed was in providing minimum “Love” and dignity for her residents, despite her numerous claims that she did so. Mother Teresa’s motto had been “You did it to me”, implying the suffering of Jesus; she said many times how “beautiful” suffering and pain were. However she had one standard for herself and another one for her residents. She herself had never declined painkillers or anaesthetics.

Mother Teresa, although protesting to live a life of utter humility and suffering, frequently travelled the world in the luxury class of aeroplanes, which is outside of the reach of all but the super wealthy. Granted she did not pay for her travels (the airlines usually did), but I believe her travels were a waste of resources, undertaken as they were mostly for religious purposes. The majority of her journeys — including the last foreign travel of her life that began in May 1997 — were to oversee the vow taking of her nuns. She would also travel frequently to the Vatican to meet up with the pope — indeed on most of her international travels she would break journey at the Vatican, sometimes twice — onward and return. Can the Committee justify such frequent and expensive travels for reasons of religion by a woman who always claimed that she was utterly devoted to the cause of the poor? Occasionally when on board the first class section of an aeroplane, Mother Teresa would ask for food to be given her so that she could take them to the poor. This would impress those around her and would imply that she never did anything that would detract from the cause of the poor — thereby she would manage to camouflage the real purpose of her luxurious travels which were unnecessary, at least for the interests of the poor. I would urge the Committee to take into account Mother Teresa’s affectations which were adopted (perhaps unwittingly) to cause deception and bolster image.

Although always protesting that she knew nothing about politics, Mother Teresa voted in elections in India, as acknowledged by the Catholic author Eileen Egan in one of Mother Teresa’s official biographies Such A Vision of the Street. She also made sure that her nuns all voted. Here again, we are getting a discord between words and deeds.

In the matter of politics, the most serious issue that can raised about Mother Teresa’s actions was over her support of the State of Emergency in India (1975 – 77). This was a time when democratic rights were suspended in India and thousands of activists (both social and political) were detained without trial. Other crimes, much more heinous, were committed by the erstwhile government. The Committee should take particular note of the forced sterilisation programmes (of poor men) that were undertaken during this period. And yet, Mother Teresa issued the State of Emergency a certificate of approval (acknowledged in the above official biography) to help her friend the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Committee should decide if such action befits a potential Saint. The Committee should particularly consider the way Mother Teresa intervened in politics in this instance and compare it with her (political) intervention during the passage of the Freedom of Religion Bill in the Indian parliament in 1978. In the first instance when human rights were threatened, she aided and abetted the powers that were threatening them; in the second instance when Catholic rights were threatened she made a strident protest. One could not have criticised her if she had remained silent on both occasions.

The Committee should also take into account Mother Teresa’s wooing of the media, which was often selective. There are a lot of media persons (primarily in India) who may testify to that effect. I have interviews with such people which the Committee may like to consult. I am aware that the help of the media is essential in the running of an international organisation such as the Missionaries of Charity and I certainly do not think it was unreasonable of Mother Teresa to enlist such help, but she always publicly maintained that she detested publicity.

The word “saint” in the broad sense implies a person who is uniquely kind and charitable; somebody above meanness and pettiness, somebody who does not publicise their own deeds and achievements, at least does not exaggerate them. Mother Teresa was a kind and charitable person, but whether she was an exceptional in this regard is a matter for the Committee to decide. I strongly urge the Committee to not simply be guided by what she said, but look beyond that. She was an exceptional Catholic — indeed much (if not most) of the resources of her organisation was spent on religious activities, such as in the training of nuns, novices, Brothers and priests, and in the upkeep of establishments which are exclusively nunneries and Brothers’ houses. When Mother Teresa told journalists (as she did very often during her life) how many establishments she ran around the world, she never made it clear that a large number of these housed nuns and Brothers and were not homes for the poor.

In this context, Mother Teresa’s fund raising from people of dubious reputation needs to be mentioned. To give an example, in 1991 she received a very large sum of money from Charles Keating, who had stolen most or all of it from the American public, many of them people of modest means. After Keating’s arrest, Mother Teresa steadfastly refused to even acknowledge requests from the authorities to return the money. Did she think that she was above earthly laws? If the money had been returned, some of Keating’s poor investors who had been deceived could have been repaid. Mother Teresa’s logic was that she was using rich people’s ill-gotten money to help the poor. Such logic is perverse, not only because she was knowingly handling stolen money, but also because much of that money was being spent not on the poor but for the nurturing of her faith.

If the Committee wants to confer sainthood on Mother Teresa for being an exceptional Catholic, then no doubt such honour is deserved. If on the other hand, sainthood is something the Committee would confer on somebody who is also more than ordinarily honest, “humble”, dedicated to the poor, free of falsehoods and above all a person of unique integrity, then in my opinion Mother Teresa falls short of a being a shining example.
Finally I would ask the Committee whether it would do justice to the memory and spirit of Mother Teresa — who had such visceral opposition to abortion in any circumstance — to be called “Saint Teresa of Calcutta”, for Calcutta is one of the world’s most pro abortion cities, where hundreds of institutions (one of them not that many yards from Mother House) offer abortion (virtually) on demand

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Horror at One of Mother Teresa's Orphanage

An investigation at one of the order’s homes in Kolkata by an undercover investigator, who was working there as a volunteer, uncovers more troubling details. He filmed children being fed while their hands bound with what appeared to be strips of cloth. When the undercover worker returned to the home at night, he found children bound to their cots with similar strips, which prevented them from moving more than 2 feet. 

Published Date: 30 Jul, 2005 
Disabled Children Tied,Tethered To Cots, Finds Undercover Investigator

Kolkata, jul 31: An undercover investigation has revealed poor conditions endured by children in a Kolkata care home run by Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa.

Around 50 disabled children, aged six months to 12 years, in the home have their hands bound during meal times and are tethered to their cots at night.

Martin Gallagher, a former operations director of MENCAP, said last week that it was unacceptable for the children to be tied up. “It’s a breach of their human rights,” he said.

Since Mother Teresa’s death in 1997, her charitable order has continued with her work. It has more than 700 centres in 133 countries. Even when Mother Teresa was alive, the standards at some of her homes were criticised. Some workers complained of dirty conditions and claimed children suffered neglect.

A new investigation at one of the order’s homes in Kolkata, called Daya Dan, has raised fresh concerns. An undercover investigator, who was working there as a volunteer, filmed children being fed while their hands bound with what appeared to be strips of cloth.

When the undercover worker returned to the home at night, he found children bound to their cots with similar strips, which prevented them from moving more than 2 feet.

He also filmed children being left unattended in the toilet, at times for up to 20 minutes. Staff seemed to be poorly trained in dealing with disabled children.

When questioned about why the children were tied to their beds, a nun in the order said: “It’s a terrible thing to do, but there might be a reason. I’ve not been to that home and not heard anything about that at all.”

Donal MacIntyre, who conducted the investigation for Five News, said he was shocked by what he had found.

“There are strategies for looking after disabled children that minimise stressful situations,” he said, “but, as a result of poor training and lack of resources, staff are resorting to shocking practices.

“Unless the Missionaries of Charity improve their standards, they risk damaging not only the health of those in their care but also the reputation of one of the world’s most remarkable women.” Sister Nirmala Joshi, now superior general of the order, was not available for comments.
Yes, they are tied: Sister

The Times of India India's leading news paper, independently confirmed the story. Sister Nirmala, superior-general of the Missionaries of Charity, was abroad. In her absence, Mother House spokesperson Sister Christie responded to the queries. She confirmed: “Daya Dan has 59 children. Of them some are spastics. These children are tied up, but for limited periods only. This is done for their safety. These children can easily harm themselves.’’

Monday, March 1, 2010

Responding To Ignorance

I received the following email today, it is regarding my work and investigative report of Mother Teresa's international charity which is fraught with medical negligence and financial fraud. I usually don't get a lot of these, but I was not going to just ignore this one. Take a look at the message sent to me and my response to this individual:
-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxxxx@xxxxx
To: xxxxxx@xxxxxx
Sent: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 3:34 am
Subject: New Contact Message
I am outraged. You do not have any say in how the Missionaries of Charity operate, especially when some of your photographs of India's "poorest of the poor" are being SOLD to fund your own personal life as an "independent artist". Disgusting. Have you ever even cleaned and bandaged a wound with maggots crawling in it? Have you ever changed a woman who is on her period and blood is all over her clothing? Have you ever been defecated on?? Think of it. And then think of Indian life. You just don't get it do you. Try a little humility and empathy before you LASH OUT and try to make a buck. OH, also try taking care of the poor for more than 2 months.
Try READING more about me before lashing out ignorantly.
I currently live in Kolkata, I work in the slums everyday with the poorest of the poor, I make seriously little money through my photos, I've managed to save some money by working hard for a while back at home before returning to India to positively change the lives of people in serious need. Here's the link to my own charity: http://www.facebook.com/responsiblecharity
I've cleaned blood, mucus, I've been defecated on by the destitute of India, picked live maggots out of wounds for hours and cremated more than a dozen men and women while working with the incredibly archaic and often inefficient Missionaries of Charity. Damn right I have a right to question how these monsters operate and shame on you for blindly adoring these nuns and  thinking you are actually doing something good by keeping your mouth shut.
I usually don't answer stupid mail such as yours, don't get a lot if anyway, but you actually epitomize a big part of the problem, the volunteer who continues to glorify this fraudulent and outdated organization, while actually hurting those they claim to help by keeping them in these museums of poverty.
If you want to truly make a difference, start by demanding that the Missionaries of Charity report every single dollar they have received in donations until today and how all the funds have really been applied, if they do so, the world will discover they've been quite busy propagating their religious dogma while "patching" some of the issues of poverty instead of looking for viable solutions to END poverty with the millions and millions of dollars received from their unsuspecting donors.
Again, READ. You will discover hundreds of links from reporters, volunteers, journalists, some doctors, nurses and even nuns who themselves have left what is essentially a cult.
The monumental negligence of this organization is in fact impossible to ignore.
Hemley Gonzalez
STOP The Missionaries of Charity

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sodomy "Common" in Mother Teresa's Orphanage

Neurologist, Dr Franco, worked as a volunteer at Deepashram, established by Mother Teresa in 1995, for six months and complained to the Vatican Embassy about sexual abuse of children at the home, citing that it was “common” for the older boys to sodomize the younger boys at night when no one was on guard. Attendants dismissed the allegation and no further action was taken by the Vatican.

Neurologist: Sodomy "Common" in Mother Teresa's Orphanage
Posted August 25, 2005

Sanjeev K Ahuja
Gurgaon, August 23, 2005
Hindustan Times

The Deepashram orphanage at Gurgaon - for mentally and physically challenged children - has found itself in a controversy after an Italian neurologist complained to the Vatican Embassy about sexual abuse of children at the home.

The neurologist, Dr Franco, had worked as a volunteer at Deepashram, established by Mother Teresa in 1995, for six months a couple of years ago. Brothers Contemplative - the male wing of Missionaries of Charity - manages the home, which has 66 boys aged between 12 and 26.

Franco registered his complaint at the Apostolic Nunciature, Chanakyapuri. Second secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature, Father Tomasz Grysa, said they received the "communication from Dr Franco" in February this year. The case has been referred to the hierarchical superiors of the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, Father Grysa said.

At the orphanage, volunteers did not rule out the possibility of sexual abuse of younger inmates by the older ones. Brother Benedict, a volunteer from Rome, said: "If any case of this kind is reported to us, the guilty boys are punished."

Abdullah, a 15-year-old inmate, said it was "common" for the older boys to sodomise the younger boys at night when no one was on guard. He accused a 24-year-old of sodomising a 12-year-old. "Bahut se bachche yahan par ganda kaam karte hain," he said.

Brother Benedict and attendants dismissed the allegation. Abdullah was shifted from the children's home at Majnu Ka Tila to Gurgaon as he was a troublemaker, Brother Benedict said.

Another volunteer at the orphanage, Dr Wanda Toso from San Raffele Hospital in Milan, told HT that Franco had also told her about child abuse at Deepashram. She, however, did not have any personal confirmation from the boys as she did not speak Hindi.

"I have not been able to interact with the children," Toso said.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Total Amount of Donations Received by Mother Teresa's Charity Remains a Mystery

A 1991 audit of the UK operation revealed that only 7% of the total income of about $2.6USD million went into charity work. The rest was remitted to the Vatican Bank. And this audit was just for ONE year in only ONE country; this organization is 61 years old as of today with 700+ houses in 100+ countries. 

Regarding the financial matters of the Missionaries of Charity, in an interview, when asked how much money they have received in donations, the head nun of the organization a the time condescendingly replied: "Countless, countless, only god knows"