Friday, February 24, 2012
Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer
Book: Three Cups of Deceit
Author: Jon Krakauer
Recommended To: Krakauer fans, People who believe deceit is best served icy cold.
Three Cups of Deceit is Jon Kraukauer's expose of The Central Asia Institute, a charitable institution that builds schools for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Some of the reveals in this book are shocking. For example, the CAI rakes in millions of dollars in donations each year, but a small fraction of those donations are actually used to build schools. Instead, the leader of the organization, Greg Mortensen, uses donated funds for private planes to his book signing and speaking events to the tune of several million dollars.
Another shocker: that none of the profits from Greg Mortensen's extremely popular books are donated to the CAI, those royalties go straight into Greg's pocket.
I've donated to the CAI and I raved about Greg Mortensen's book Three Cups of Tea on this blog in early 2011. (actually, almost a year ago today...interesting.) The book is compelling and the stories told by Greg are uplifting. I remember crying when finishing Three Cups and thinking that I had to do something, since a man from so humble beginnings was able to accomplish such extensive change. Krakauer exposes many of the heartwarming stories in Three Cups, and Mortensen's follow up book Stones into Schools, as out right lies. Many of the stories did not happen, or were seriously elaborated to make them sound better for publishing.
I trust Krakauer. He has a reputation of thorough research that is easy to follow. This is certainly not a heartwarming book, but, it is very interesting at a time when many charities are under scrutiny for exactly how donations are spent.