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Ex-volunteer calls for an end to the Missionaries of Charity

Ex-volunteer calls for an end to the Missionaries of Charity

Hemley Gonzalez, a former volunteer for the Missionaries of Charity, an organisation founded by soon-to-be-sainted Mother Teresa, is now actively campaigning for the charity to be shut down.

According to this Salon report by George Gillett, Gonzalez runs an online campaign called Stop the Missionaries of Charity (“Holding Mother Teresa’s charity accountable for its monumental medical negligence and financial fraud.”).

He hopes to “educate unsuspecting donors” about how their donations are spent on what he regards to be “a systematic human rights violation”.

In an interview with Gillett, Gonzalez – founder of Responsible Charity, a secular non-profit organisation serving the poor of Calcutta – told of reused needles, poorly trained staff and expired medications.

Gillett wrote:

… As he [Gonzalez] discusses his experience volunteering at facilities run by Missionaries of Charity, it becomes increasingly apparent that few of his anecdotes correlate with the reputation she enjoys. ‘I was shocked to discover the horrifically negligent manner in which the charity operates,’ he recalls.

Writing in the New Internationalist magazine about her experience working at the Missionaries of Charity’s headquarters in Kolkata, another volunteer urged that the organisation be:

Finally held accountable for its actions of abuse and neglect.

MT

Similar concerns were raised in Christopher Hitchens’ 1994 UK documentary, Hell’s Angel, that featured the story of a 15-year-old patient who had been admitted with a “relatively simple kidney complaint.” His condition had deteriorated soon after the facility had refused to transfer him to a local hospital to undergo surgery. Hell’s Angel can be viewed on YouTube.

Criticism of Mother Teresa’s mission has also come from the medical profession. Dr Robin Fox, former editor of the medical journal The Lancet, described the Missionaries of Charity facilities as “haphazard” as early as 1994, recounting how he witnessed a young man with malaria be treated with only ineffective antibiotics and paracetamol.

Along with the neglect of diagnosis, the lack of good analgesia marks Mother Theresa’s approach.

Aroup Chatterjee shares similar feelings. Born in Kolkata and now a doctor in the UK, he was inspired to write a book about Teresa’s legacy. It describes detailed accounts of her patients being denied visitors, refused painkillers and forced to shave their heads.

He told Gillett:

If people knew what she was actually like, they would find her repugnant.

Wrote Gillett:

These claims are in such contradiction with the Western narrative of Mother Teresa – a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize as well as a number of other accolades – that it’s hard to respond to them with anything other than disbelief.

Having received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, there are seemingly few excuses for such poor medical care aside from either recklessness or malicious intent. Yet either of these accusations would be met with fervent denial from even the staunchest of secularists. How, then, has somebody with such a troubled legacy enjoyed almost universal adoration from the world’s media?

Much of the reason is undoubtedly related to the fact that Mother Teresa’s order does not perceive these examples to be failings. Speaking in 1997, she remarked that ‘the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people,’ describing how it was ‘very beautiful for the poor to share [their suffering] with the passion of Christ.’

For Mother Teresa, poverty and sickness were gifts that provided the opportunity to develop one’s connection with God. Her mission was not so much to alleviate suffering but to ensure it happened within a framework of religious belief.

Indeed, by her own admission she was motivated by a desire to fulfill her own religious convictions rather than altruistic concern for the world’s poor. ‘There is always the danger that we may become only social workers … our works are only an expression of our love for Christ,’ she told a BBC journalist in 1969.

This attitude is manifestly disparate from the utilitarian principles by which humanitarian efforts are ordinarily judged.

You can read more about Gonzalez’s experiences of working with the Missionaries of Charity here.

13 responses to “Ex-volunteer calls for an end to the Missionaries of Charity”

  1. Broga says:

    This grisly woman should become a saint. She, and the decision making process, will then expose to the world the squalid machinations of the RC Church. Yes, many will still see her as admirable. But there is a tide of truth flowing and it cannot be stemmed.

    The sainthood is an opportunistic move by the Vatican to attract converts, initiate pilgrimages and overall make money. Mother Theresa is a name that many respond to as if her deeds are laudable by the fact that they are done by her. No questions are asked. No challenges made. That is changing and the reputation of this grotesque excuse for a caring woman is crumbling.

    We can expect the BBC to invite her supporters to preach at us as they try to con an undoubtedly gullible public. But the odds are stacking up against her. She is entirely fitting to be a representative of her church.

  2. ZombieHunter says:

    The worst thing about mother Theresa’s charity and any other religious charity is that they don’t do their work for the good of doing it because there are vulnerable people out there who need help and support but they do it to convert people and preach at people.

    “sure have a bowl of soup but you have to read a bible passage first”

    they even do it in the UK

    “sure kids we have playstations in here but you need to learn about jebus too”

  3. Dr Paul Spence says:

    Please, I desperately need a T-shirt with the picture of motherfucker theresa!

  4. L.Long says:

    Sorry Broga but the world has been shown the criminal activities of the RCC for ages now and they are still going strong. They have lots of money and great PR. Most people see the RCC as I did in my local church and pay almost no attention to what the evil atheists or evil protestants say about it.
    They are doing something about helping people, that is all the RCC members care to hear. Hell look how they ignore or justify the pedophilia???

  5. Bill says:

    I say go ahead with Saint Anges Whatshername … to expose the rcc for what it really does.

    Filthy exploitation of the weakest and poorest by a powerful mega rich mafia.

  6. Laura Roberts says:

    The uninitiated may be inclined to dismiss Hitch’s or Dawkins’ criticisms of the deluded shrew pretending to be a healer. But I like to think people pay more attention to those who actually volunteered. They’ve got “street cred” that’s not so easy to dismiss. I’ve now heard of at least 3-4 former volunteers who have told similar stories — about the horrible care outlined above, and about an efficient financial machine that every year redirected millions of dollars away from their ersatz hospitals and into church coffers.

  7. Cali Ron says:

    Mother “Tears of the Desperate” was one of the biggest money makers the RCC has had in the last century, so they will put the PR machine to work just like they did covering up the abuse of children and all the other skeletons in there enormous closet. What if a catholic started to question Mother Terrors actions? Said catholic would go to their priest and he would perpetuate the lies with more lies, tell them to say some Hell Mary’s, pay their tithes and “question no more”.

  8. Bryan says:

    I was born across the street from Missions Of Charity in Calcutta and saw Mother Teresa daily in the 60’s and early 70’s doing for the destitute what nobody else wanted to do.

    Unfortunately, with the passing years, rising fame and millions in donations, she seemed to have changed to the leader of a cult. Those orphans and almost aborted babies from various religions grew up under her indoctrination as Catholic and brainwashed to only wear white and blue and serve within the commune I believe called “mother house ” now. Or, travel in pairs outside spreading the word of god.

    Henley is right in his observations.

  9. edwords says:

    She asked the US prosecutor of super con man, Charles Keating,
    to show leniency to her ‘friend’. When he asked her to return the
    $million that Keating’s victims had ‘donated’, there was no response.

  10. Bryan says:

    Oh yes, cannot forget the Keating 5 and what they did. She also ran into problems with refusing to install an elevator in her Bronx, NY missionary, reportedly stating that the nuns had to walk up the stairs as a sacrifice to god. barf.

  11. dennis says:

    she learned to accept death and depravity as a sacrifice to god. WHAT!