Thursday, June 11, 2015

Charity Theft.

The Tavern dispenses its fine sustenance for a modest fee. Most pay nothing at all but a simple contribution to the conversation. We, and they, are Charitable and actually think (shock, horror!) that Charity begins at home. Indeed, what I and my devoted staff and all (OK, mostly all, perhaps) of the customers call charity is personal and are happy to lend a hand and hand over a buck to the needy, personally.

The Churches have always attracted charitable people. The mandate that forms the basis of action in Christian Churches, started by the Catholic Church, includes Charity. Love they neighbour. The Good Samaritan etc. You know it as well as I do. Crikey, even atheists know that.

So how are we churchy folk doing?

Several customers raised the issue and questioned just what 'Charity' is these days.

It was a BIG discussion, so take a seat and fill your glass.

I had a lady phone me up just a few minutes ago. She was from the Red Cross. Now we all recognise that laudable Institution, and almost automatically accede to requests for a 'small donation'. I did not. And for good reason. Her reason for asking was fine enough..."we help the poor"....but do they?

Do any, many, most people actually know what happens to their donation?

Allison Shelly raised a red flag.
‘Where’s the $500 million?’ 
Red Cross promises houses for 130,000 Haitians, ’builds only 6’
An investigation has found that the American Red Cross wasted $500 million in its bid to help Haiti, underperformed in its programs, and then tried to cover it up. 
Despite the NGO’s celebrated success, insider accounts point to failures.
When a devastating earthquake struck the Western hemisphere’s poorest country in 2010, the American Red Cross was one of the organizations at the forefront of the humanitarian effort to rebuild it a year later, launching a multi-million-dollar effort.
The main program – LAMIKA (a Creole acronym for ‘A Better Life in My Neighborhood’) – was to build hundreds of permanent homes to house some 130,000 people living in abject poverty after the quake.
Now, in 2015, the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Campeche is as dilapidated as ever, with hardly any new buildings, trash strewn around, animals walking the streets, and people enduring sub-standard conditions in self-made shacks.
“Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water,” an introduction to a report says.
An investigation by NPR and ProPublica gained access to “confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders” familiar with how the NGO broke its promises, misspent millions of dollars, and then issued self-congratulatory progress statements.
The ensuing report reveals very different results to the ones outlined in CEO Gail McGovern’s project plan for Haiti, which promised “brand new communities” that would make “donors proud” and “help the people in Haiti.” She claimed her experience had made her more “flexible during emergencies.”
The investigation pointed to a series of systematic blunders and untruths surrounding the Haiti effort, however.
The Red Cross’s internal proposal put the number of houses to be built at 700 by January 2013. 
In reality, only six houses were actually constructed.
“We asked the Red Cross to show us around its projects in Haiti so we could see the results of its work. It declined,” the report reads.
Part of the reason behind the failure is that the Red Cross “didn’t have the know-how” and “they had no development experience,” former employees said.
In some cases, the NGO would give millions to other groups. Poor supervision and lack of proper oversight allowed these subcontractors to rack up inordinate bills for management and overhead costs.
Another issue that could have hindered the Red Cross’s work in Haiti is trouble with the country’s “dysfunctional” land title system.
Other groups, which the report does not name, had similar problems but, according to the data, “ultimately built 9,000 homes compared to the Red Cross’s six.”
Some $140,000 was spent on housing, food, and R&R for a foreign project manager, who also enjoyed four paid leaves a year. That comes to more than $100,000 more than would have been spent on a local equivalent.
“A lot of money was spent on those people who were not Haitian, who had nothing to do with Haiti. The money was just going back to the United States,” one Haitian who coordinated expat housing for the Red Cross confessed.
There are people who are quite skilled in 'helping'. Many do a fine job but frankly there are somewho do it and line their own pockets at the same time. 

Some do it ('help') in order to line their own pockets. 

Some don't even do it, but line their own pockets. 

Christopher Hope put his oar in the water.....
30 charity chiefs paid more than £100,000
The leaders of some of the biggest charities risk bringing “the wider charitable world into disrepute” by taking large pay rises while donations are falling, according to the regulator.
One has to do a bit of exchange rate calculation to put that UKP100k in proper context. The average UK wage is around 25k. 
Some of the executives were paid more than the Prime Minister’s £142,500 a year in 2013, which is used by ministers as a Whitehall high water mark.
William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission, warned that charities were risking their reputations if they were not being seen to get a grip on boardroom excess.
He told The Daily Telegraph: “It is not for the commission to tell charities how much they should pay their executives. That is a matter for their trustees.
“However, in these difficult times, when many charities are experiencing shortfalls, trustees should consider whether very high salaries are really appropriate, and fair to both the donors and the taxpayers who fund charities.
“Disproportionate salaries risk bringing organisations and the wider charitable world into disrepute.”
The analysis also shows these charities are heavily reliant on public funds, having received more than £1.1billion of public money over the past three years from a range of sources, including the Government, the European Union, United Nations and councils.
And therein lies another problem. 

Is 'charity donation' enforced through taxes and just what role does the government take away from you, the donor? 
Despite receiving these large amounts of money, the charities are not subject to the same level of scrutiny or accountability as government departments or quangos.

"Ah, but", I hear a voice from the corner say. " Us Cafolics ain't like that"

The Catholic Church is the Most Prolific Charitable Organisation in the entire World.

The problem with that is that it was never meant to be.

Sure, it's role is to be charitable and to promote the idea of being charitable, and of course, actions lead the way, but...... what of the Prime Directive? Bringing the Word. What has happened to that?

What does happen to that when Catholic Charity becomes an Industry?

I have railed before about the Catholic Church taking taxpayer monies from Government to 'provide services'.... needed services to be sure.... but accepting all the nasty anti-Catholic, anti-Christian strings attached. Not just anti-Catholic but policies of a nanny, socialist, interfering sort as well. Like affirmative action; anti-smoking; 'tolerance' and 'diversity' etc. Things that have nothing to do with housing the destitute, feeding the hungry or tending to the sick, lame  - and increasingly, at the Government's mandate, 'comforting' the downright lazy. Most govenment policies these days actually forbid this religion or that actively prozletizing or even displaying a crucifix. 

But that 'external' opression is just one part of the problem. It is the internal corruption that is even more of a concern.

Michael Hichborn revealed some uncomfortable truths.
Charity as Industry

How the Church abandoned its mandate and outsourced its mission

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Commission, which is the primary act and purpose of the Catholic Church, has never changed. The conversion of peoples and nations to the Teachings of Our Blessed Lord is the charge given to the Church, and everything done by the Church is done to this specific end. 
And anything done without this specific end is empty and without purpose. 
Why, therefore, in recent years have the great acts of charity which have always belonged to the Church, been handed over to those who do not seek first the conversion of sinners? 
Until the 20th century, the Catholic Church had worked through religious orders to provide aid to the poor, health care to the sick, and education to the ignorant. 
Catholic hospitals were filled with nuns and priests well educated in the healing arts, and the cost of health care was quite low. 
Catholic school classrooms were led by nuns and priests, and even the poorest kids in the neighborhood could afford a world-class education there. 
And the care of the world’s poorest was done by missionaries who sought first the salvation of the souls they served, while also working to provide food, housing and clothing … and it didn’t cost billions of dollars to do it.

The first charitable institution to be industrialized was healthcare. 
One by one, Catholic hospitals went from being staffed by priests and nuns to private doctors with families to house and feed, cars to drive, and college tuitions to pay. As a result, health care costs went up, and the Church’s influence went down. 
Suddenly, what had been a corporal work of mercy was now an industry.

 Catholic education soon took a hit, as nuns and priests were replaced by private teachers and administrators, who also required salaries for their families. 
And as Catholic education became more of an industry, the influence of the Church declined there as well.

That the works of charity are now an industry is completely undeniable. Catholic charitable organizations compete with other organizations for large government grants, and in the name of helping the poor, executives in these organizations are raking in the cash. 
For instance, the tax form 990 for fiscal year 2014 for Catholic Charities USA shows the top eight paid employees all making over six figures each. 
In fact, for working a logged 35 hours per week, 
Fr. Larry Snyder made $381,080 
and his Chief Operating Officer raked in $412,439.
That’s two individuals working to help the poor, pulling in nearly half-a-million dollars EACH. 
It has to be asked, just what does a priest do with $381,000?  

He had better be giving most to charity!!  
All told, with benefits included, the top eight executives at Catholic Charities USA account for $2,027,680.

It’s no different at Catholic Relief Services. 
The latest tax form 990 shows that CRS’s president, Dr. Carolyn Woo, is earning $445,426 in salary and benefits in order to do “charitable” work.
Dr Woo. Not at all worried by the female 'Pay-Gap'. 
And the obscene salaries paid to the top eight of CRS’s executive leadership comes to $2,180,935. In fact, 27.5% of the Rice Bowl collection for 2014 (see page 18 of CRS’s 2014 Annual Report) paid the salaries and benefits of these eight individuals ALONE. 
That’s one of every three dollars collected from pew-sitting Catholics across the country going to pay the salaries and benefits of eight people … all in the name of helping the poor.

Worse than executives at Catholic charitable organizations getting rich in the name of helping the poor, much of the actual work is being outsourced to organizations who have no interest in maintaining the integrity of Catholic moral teaching. 
For example, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development doesn’t actually do ANY of its own work; all it does is dispense grants to community organizing groups (many of whom are acting in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching) who do the work CCHD claims it does. 
Catholic Relief Services applies for and obtains large government grants that require it to pass some of the money along to organizations 
that are attacking the Gospel of Life. 
In 2012, CRS provided $64.65 million to organizations that are themselves dispensing contraception, committing abortions and performing sterilizations.

And while all of this is going on, the Mandate of the Church has taken a back seat. 
In September of 2014, CRS’s Vice-President for Government Relations and Advocacy Bill O’Keefe said in a CNN interview, “We assist people of all backgrounds and religions and we do not attempt to engage in discussions of faith.” He added, “We’re proud of that. We like to say that we assist everybody because we’re Catholic, we don’t assist people to become Catholic.” 
This statement is not dissimilar from what CRS’s Chief Operating Officer Sean Callahan said to Michael Hichborn in a November 2012 meeting. Callahan told Hichborn that CRS works to convert people’s minds to how to treat people and how to do things, but not to the Catholic Faith. When Hichborn reminded Mr. Callahan that Catholics have an obligation to proclaim the Gospel and bring all souls to Christ, his response was to equate feeding people and preaching the Gospel with “bribing the poor.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, however, that the charitable works of the Catholic Church have turned to industry, and thereby abandoned the evangelistic mark of the Church. 

Pope Paul VI, in his 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, predicted this very thing. In paragraph 32, he said:

 We must not ignore the fact that many, even generous Christians who are sensitive to the dramatic questions involved in the problem of liberation, in their wish to commit the Church to the liberation effort are frequently tempted to reduce her mission to the dimensions of a simply temporal project. 
They would reduce her aims to a man-centered goal; the salvation of which she is the messenger would be reduced to material well-being. Her activity, forgetful of all spiritual and religious preoccupation, would become initiatives of the political or social order. But if this were so, the Church would lose her fundamental meaning. Her message of liberation would no longer have any originality and would easily be open to monopolization and manipulation by ideological systems and political parties. She would have no more authority to proclaim freedom as in the name of God. This is why we have wished to emphasize, in the same address at the opening of the Synod, “the need to restate clearly the specifically religious finality of evangelization. This latter would lose its reason for existence if it were to diverge from the religious axis that guides it: the kingdom of God, before anything else, in its fully theological meaning….”

The meaning of the word “charity” is Love. There is no love in mere philanthropy, and certainly not in an industry masquerading as a charity. 
As the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen would say, “If souls are not saved, nothing is saved.” CRS, CCHD, and Catholic Charities USA are Catholic in name, but do very little (if anything) to bring souls to Christ. 
If the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is truly interested in reducing poverty throughout the world, the poverty it must begin with is 
the poverty of the soul. 
So, drink deep of the Grace of God.

Without it we are sliding further down into the Abyss.

Be Charitable. Please. But YOU do the Charitable works. 

Otherwise Charity is being stolen from you by greedy, unscrupulous people and you simply give away your ability to Do Good.

Beams and Motes. Remember?



  1. I am sharing this post with my pro-life atheist friend. She is unhappy with Christians and I often can't blame her. Fill her up, barkeep.

    1. The Church is a human Institution, Divine in Mandate. It is as much a target for Evil - in fact MORE of a target - than the individual soul. It has far too many people in its ranks who are playing a secular game more in line with the Mafia. We MUST clean up our Church. Beams and motes. Your atheist friend may well have motes, but by the Lord Harry there are beams in the church that do not hold up the roof.

  2. "there are beams in the church that do not hold up the roof."
    Well...that's what remote Flying Buttresses are all about!
    Look up..say, Jen's Friends Cancer Foundation.
    ALL of it's donor (well, except for ONE buttressing sap, apparently) funds go where it's implied they go to. ZERO goes toward "administrative" fax machines, air conditioners, well appointed "operations" bases, "important" first class travel and "accommodation".
    Of course, none of the buttressed "administrative" expenses (Workplace Sexual Harassment Insurance...REALLY?) are tax deductible, because of failure to meet certain gub'mint/IRS non-discrimination compliance paperwork criteria! Apparently they don't see the dire need to employ a "specialist" just for that "need".
    Now, The Clinton Charitable Foundation on the other hand, can't even get a "rating", amongst
    the usually suspect BIG money changers, with FULL tax immunity for 15% ACTUAL "service" for the (ahem) fungible donations.

    1. You have it buttoned down Captain. Have a pint and join Kathy in the heroes lounge. Take her a G&T as well. :) Yes there are some smaller charities, under the close control of individuals who actually do care, and they are precisely the sort we can be supporting and they keep clear of Gummunt interference. Other than that, do the charity personally.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. My understanding Jesus' teachings is that it is the individual that has to be charitable to others by their own work and efforts (not by giving someone else money to do the work by proxy). If we are able to unconditionally love and care for others our soul is drawn closer to God.

    Much effort is needed on our own part.

    1. That too is my understanding. I see now't wrong with the idea that combining ones charitable effort with others can have a greater 'reach' and impact upon others, but it can and often does dilute the impact on ourselves. It can go further in practice and be used to absolve us of real personal charity. "I have done my bit".

  5. Excellent piece - the corruption is jawdropping and they do it with a straight face.

    1. Jaw-dropping but not entirely unexpected in this secular age. The scale of the graft is matched only by the incompetence.

  6. I for one no longer give to any charities.

    They are no longer the types of organizations they used to be in say the 70s and 80s but are now industries. They even have their own paid industry organization to represent them.

    The salaries paid to the CEOs of these organizations are most commonly outrageous and this high level of remuneration no doubt seeps right down to the lower level people in these organizations. You cannot tell me there are no highly competent people who will run a major charity for a 150,000 USD per year salary package.

    Then you have the fraud. The Red Cross has now been caught out numerous times collecting money for a specific cause, and having people donate for that cause and that cause only, when much of the cash collected for that cause is diverted to another of their pet projects. They have been forced to admit they have been doing this for years. It is outright fraud but nothing is ever done about it.

    Many charities now commonly use professional fund raisers to collect their money and these parasites will typically take anything from 20 to 90% of every dollar collected depending on the deal they strike with the charity. I will be damned if I am going to line the pockets of these middle men who refuse to declare what their take is and will never declare to you just who they are unless you cross examine them aggressively.

    These people were constantly phoning me(I get very few now) and this is how the typical call went:

    Caller: This is XXX charity and we are collecting for........

    Me: Who do you work for?

    Caller: XXX Charity.

    Me: No you do not. You work for a professional collector don't you. What is the name of the company you actually work for?

    Caller: ER well yes I work for YYY company.

    Me: Ok then how much of every dollar I give will go to your organization and how much will be remitted to the Charity you say you are collecting for?

    Caller(now getting irritated usually): I do not have access to that information so I cannot tell you. Maybe my supervisor can tell you that.

    (Now don't bother talking to the supervisor because if he knows there is no way he is going to tell you).

    Me: OK so you ring me up pretending to be XXX charity and in fact you work for YYY company and a great slab of the money you ask for will go straight into your pocket as salary and the rest into YYY company and a little bit to the Charity. You people are engaging in gross misrepresentation, refrain from identifying yourselves when you call people up and refuse to declare that much of the money you collect for Charity in fact goes straight into your organization.

    At that stage it is all too much for them and they will usually hang up in your ear.

    Since I began calling these people out, the cold calls have become fewer and fewer and have almost dried up so no doubt my number has probably gone to some centralized "do not call list" by now that these people use.

    Any other business that engaged in this kind of fraudulent misrepresentation to take money from people would be prosecuted in Court. Not so the charity industry.

    Until Governments pass legislation to make the whole business of collection and use of charity funds fully transparent to donors, and until many of these charities cease to become cash cows for the people that work in them , I will refuse to give any of them one cent of my hard earned cash and so should you. Only then will there likely be any meaningful reform of all the dubious practices currently perpetrated upon the public by the charity industry who are basically treating the public as muppets.

    (As posted on the site June 12, 2015).

    1. A late entry to the debate, Cameron, but all the more welcome for resurrecting it. Your experience and understanding is valid and very much in line with the others above. Go forth and practice Charity, by your own hand to those who are at hand.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..