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  • Mother Teresa, or should now we say, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for decades was seen on

  • TV screens around the world tending to what she called thepoorest of the poor.”

  • From San Francisco to Sydney people's eyes filled with tears as the wizened old woman

  • held infants in her arms and proclaimed that through the power of God Almighty she would

  • address the many wrongs of this world and help millions whose lives had been blighted

  • by poverty.

  • And yet for some, their eyes only glistened with anger, their hearts were filled only

  • with the beat of injustice, as they saw only too clearly a dark shadow cast by a woman

  • who was far from the angel of the gutters she was said to be.

  • Today we present the ugly truth.

  • We imagine that introduction has already nettled a few of our viewers who could and still cannot

  • see anything like a dark side to the person who was called the patron saint of missionaries.

  • Maybe they are well aware that this woman was outspoken about the abject poverty that

  • certain residents of India were faced with back in the day.

  • They can recall the devastation of the 1943 famine and how millions died of starvation

  • and disease.

  • This was a woman who in the name of God promised to live among the poor and never falter from

  • that path.

  • Like a martyr, she would suffer her own series of illnesses, and yet she would never turn

  • her back on the slums.

  • Through herMissionaries of Charityshe would tend to the people whose home was

  • the streets and whose daily bread were the scraps people threw away.

  • She would hold out a hand to the blind, to the lepers, to the people that society had

  • for the most part made pariahs.

  • And it is true, we don't question it, that she and her fellow missionaries held their

  • arms out to the poor.

  • They did indeed offer succor to people on the edge who felt helpless and lost.

  • For those in the last throes of life, besieged by diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis,

  • Mother Teresa and her sisters opened their home.

  • For those at the start of life but without parents to care for them, she built much-needed

  • orphanages.

  • In her own words, Mother Teresa said, with her unlimited love she would make it her life's

  • work to protect, “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the

  • lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people

  • that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

  • Maybe some of you are now thinking, hmm, Infographics Show, you're sure walking on thin ice if

  • you're going to start throwing digs at this paragon of human virtue.

  • We're not even done.

  • Teresa and her sisters, with the help of funding on tap, opened hospices and orphanages and

  • more all over the world.

  • By the time she was done, her Missionaries of Charity consisted of 4,000 sisters and

  • 300 brothers doing good at 610 missions that covered much of the globe.

  • They were helped by over a million workers who did anything from giving hope to orphans

  • to handing out free soup to the homeless.

  • So really, why should such an apogee of humanity have to take any flak?

  • Let us now transform into the devil's advocate.

  • As all you viewers will know, nothing in this life is cut and dried.

  • Every story has countless other narratives running through the main narrative, or as

  • we're told when we are children, there are always two sides to every story.

  • One of the first people to start talking about chinks in Mother Teresa's gilded armor was

  • the critic Christopher Hitchens.

  • In fact, while she was still alive, he co-wrote and hosted a documentary calledHell's

  • Angel.”

  • Soon after that, he wrote the book, “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory

  • and Practice.”

  • This man certainly had a bee in his bonnet when it came to the lady of the light.

  • The overarching critique was that Mother Teresa and her sisters received millions upon millions

  • of dollars to do God's work and didn't do a very good job.

  • It's important we say, “God's workand not just volunteer work.

  • In fact, many people criticized her charities, saying that even with untold millions they

  • were run by people who could not provide adequate care.

  • Pain relief was seldom given to anyone and professional medical personnel were not often

  • seen in the thrum of volunteers who really didn't know what they were doing.

  • Still, for the public in the West who watched her on TV, they only saw a saint.

  • For those who donated money, it was like doing good in the eyes of God.

  • That can of course have certain benefits come judgment day.

  • You see, during the medieval period, there was something called indulgences.

  • In short, a person could buy their way out of hell or at least get a few of their sins

  • scratched off God's ethereal chalkboard.

  • Critics believed Mother Teresa was selling indulgences and to them, it was a kind of

  • con.

  • Here's what Hitchens said about that: “This returns us to the medieval corruption

  • of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence

  • to the poor.

  • Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor.

  • She was a friend of poverty.

  • She said that suffering was a gift from God.”

  • Hitchens said he once got to talk with her face-to-face and she told him outright that

  • she wasn't trying to get rid of poverty and that she was certainly not a social worker.

  • Her mission was to create more Catholics in the world and expand the Catholic church.

  • He and others argued that she was never trying to fix poverty or lessen some of the pains

  • that come with it.

  • How could she be, they said, her facilities were badly run and they did not focus on methods

  • of poverty reduction in terms of education or the empowerment of women.

  • In 2010, long after the so-calledAngel of Mercyhad passed away, a writer for

  • Forbes visited one of the Missionaries of Charity and said what she found were volunteers

  • and other people questioning what exactly was going down in there.

  • The article said those places had always been resistant to change and things had to be done

  • the way Mother Teresa wanted them done, which most of the time meant volunteers doing the

  • jobs that they were not trained to do.

  • The writer said, “Missionaries has always kept change at bay.

  • But in a world where it is very difficult to hide behind secrecy, the number of disillusioned

  • followers is increasing.”

  • She interviewed one of the volunteers, a guy from the United States who went over to India

  • to do some good.

  • It should be mentioned here that the volunteers don't get any say in the running of the

  • places nor do they have any idea about all the money coming in and where it goes.

  • This particular volunteer expressed surprise at what he first discovered over the first

  • few days.

  • In his own words, he said, “I was shocked to see the negligence.

  • Needles were washed in cold water and reused and expired medicines were given to the inmates.

  • There were people who had a chance to live if given proper care.”

  • So, again, people have asked about how so much cash can do so little, but that volunteer

  • said in no time at all he witnessed someone needlessly dying.

  • He said another volunteer without any medical training had tried to feed a paralyzed person,

  • but he did it wrong and that person died.

  • He said he also saw someone having a toe amputated and not being given any kind of anesthetic.

  • Yet another volunteer said she saw in one facility, “syringes run under cold water

  • and reused, aspirin given to those with terminal cancer, and cold baths given to everyone.”

  • Mother Teresa allowed no criticism of such practices.

  • People countered such criticisms, saying hey, these places are home to the sick, the poor,

  • and the dying; they are not a hospital.

  • Ok, state the naysayers, fine, but why not offer some real medical expertise with all

  • that cash?

  • As you'll soon see, the money donated was not exactly pennies.

  • And what about the ones who recovered, surely there should be some sort of rehabilitation

  • going on to help them when they were ready to leave?

  • One European volunteer said sometimes people left of their own accord, but other times

  • they were forced back onto the streets with no help or guidance as to how to survive.

  • For that reason, they might soon be back.

  • In this respect, it almost sounds like the prison system in many countries and their

  • revolving doors.”

  • Some of them would rather not have empty beds.

  • In the world of perpetual poverty, there's the term, The Charitable-Industrial Complex.

  • Mother Teresa has been accused of being part of that, perhaps even a lodestone.

  • That same volunteer as we just mentioned said one woman was very sick with diabetes, and

  • then she was gone.

  • The sisters said she had been placed in another facility, but a few days later the volunteer

  • saw her back on the streets.

  • She still couldn't walk right.

  • There are numerous reports of money being donated to certain Missionaries of Charity

  • facilities but not much of that money being seen.

  • A German report going all the way back to 1991 said that only seven percent of the donated

  • cash actually appeared at the place it was donated to.

  • Ok, so where is the missing money?

  • No one knows, but Forbes points out that it's controlled by the Vatican now that Mother

  • Teresa is resting in peace.

  • One of the people who should know as well as anyone about what Mother Teresa did was

  • Dr. Aroup Chatterjee.

  • He grew up in Calcutta and while studying to be a doctor was one of few voices shouting

  • about the terrible state of the poor.

  • He did his shouting from the slums.

  • He later went over to the UK where he said he was shocked by the British adulation of

  • Mother Teresa.

  • She was indeed portrayed as a saint, although when he was campaigning in the slums back

  • in India he said he never saw any of the sisters.

  • He later wrote about what he called a “cult of sufferingand spent much of his time

  • trying to understand how, if at all, Mother Teresa and her gang of sisterly angels were

  • helping the poor.

  • He spoke with many, many people who'd worked closely with the sisters which concluded with

  • him writing the book, “Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict.”

  • Maybe some people don't trust his verdict, but he was arguably in a very good position

  • to deliver one.

  • Support was never a bad thing for her, of course.

  • One investigation found that the Vatican Bank, aka, the Institute for the Works of Religion,

  • had one mammoth account in her name.

  • It said the account was worth billions and had she one day just decided to make equally

  • mammoth withdrawals the bank would have been on its knees.

  • If that's not enough to suspend us on this thin ice we're skating on, she was also

  • called a racistwell, actually, a white savior-type of racist who pitied a people

  • that could not save themselves and needed her as benefactor-in-chief.

  • She was of course clapped on by giddy white people who thought their clapping helped those

  • poor brown people, while not thinking too much about the details and genesis of widespread

  • abject poverty.

  • As for the western media with its decades-long grandstanding of Mother Teresa, it too, say

  • the critics, played a part in a kind of white colonialism.In an interview, he said, “I

  • spent months in libraries in London.

  • I also traveled the world researching it.

  • I followed slum dwellers, beggars, destitute children with a video camera.

  • I interviewed hundreds of people.

  • I stood with a video camera outside Teresa's home for hours.”

  • And his verdict was Mother Teresa, or the idea of her great, brilliant, immutable goodness

  • wasbogus.”

  • He talked about the sorry state of the facilities he visited, the lack of hygiene, the needless

  • deaths, and of course the baptisms that were given to people on their deathbeds without

  • their consent.

  • Even worse, he said, when Mother Teresa claimed her Nobel Peace Prize, she was quick to state

  • how she had saved the lives of tens of thousands of people in India.

  • Well, after Chatterjee did his research, he said you could possibly give her the number

  • 700, which isn't a lot considering the many, many millions of dollars she received.

  • His research also found that in Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity was giving very

  • little help in terms of food and water compared to most other charities.

  • In some countries, help was hardly given at all, and conversion to Christianity was what

  • was really going on.

  • But the media loved her, of course.

  • Many of you were likely not alive when she was, but rest assured, she was hardly ever

  • off the TV.

  • Politicians could get brownie points for shaking her hand while fraudsters, dictators, and

  • other very bad people were only too happy to appear on with her before the flashing

  • cameras.

  • Speaking of politicians, Bill Clinton made her an honorary citizen of the US, because

  • she showed "how we can make real our dreams for a just and good society.”

  • Everyone wanted a piece of her.

  • It was as if she had received a television canonization, which Chatterjee ascribes mostly

  • to the US media.

  • This was happening, he says, while the most vulnerable people in India were still not

  • getting the help they needed

  • The New York Times caught up with him fairly recently, and for the most part, he said what

  • we have already told you, minus theblankets stained with feceswashed in the same sink

  • used to clean dishes.”

  • He said at least nowadays the Missionaries of Charity do have medical professionals that

  • come in and when things are bad for people they are taken to a hospital.

  • Back in the day, he said he struggled to explain the myth of her to the people of Calcutta.

  • They weren't interested when he expressed that the miracles people claimed she'd performed

  • were perhaps not miracles at all.

  • He wasn't exactly popular for his opinions.

  • Mother Teresa was finally made a saint in 2016 for allegedly healing a man with a brain

  • tumor.

  • Thousands upon thousands of people around the world wept tears of joy.

  • Chatterjee's contention that this was more hocus pocus fell on many deaf ears in the

  • West.

  • He concluded his chat with the Times, saying, “They don't care about whether a third-world

  • city's dignity or prestige has been hampered by an Albanian nun.

  • So, obviously, they may be interested in the lies and the charlatans and the fraud that's

  • going on, but the whole story, they're not interested in.”

  • On top of all this, she was known to move with some very sketchy people, including neo-fascists

  • in Italy and a dictatorship in Argentina whose members were later convicted of genocide and

  • other crimes against humanity.

  • Her friend in Haiti, Jean-Claude Duvalier, was also accused of torture and genocide.

  • She received millions from fraudster Charles Keating and flew on his private jet.

  • In the US this humble, modest woman only got the best medical treatment that wealthy people

  • can buy.

  • After her death, even NPR gave credence to her performance of a real-life, bonafide miracle,

  • writing, “Hard-core rationalists would not be likely to see such cases as evidence of

  • a 'miracle' even while acknowledging they have no alternative explanation.”

  • As was soon pointed out, you don't have to be a hardcore rationalist to believe nuns

  • don't make terminal brain abscesses disappear with a flick of the wrist, but this was all

  • part of the myth and it seemed almost everyone was in on it.

  • Can you blame Mother Teresa for that?

  • Well, in her private diaries she wrote about her doubts andemptiness and darkness”,

  • but that never stopped her forcing a “ticket to heavenon people or demanding women

  • should not have the right to make choices about their own bodies.

  • We'll leave you with a question someone once asked her.