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This house believes that Mother Teresa was a fraud

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 995 times Debate No: 63352
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)




Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


This will be a rather short opening argument. In my opinion, it's all that's needed to defend the proposition.

We all know Mother Teresa, the sweet, altruist, saint-like lady who devoted her life to the poor. However, the truth is far grimmer.

1.According to those who've volunteered there, Mother Teresa's missions are squalid cesspits run along violent, authoritarian lines. There are reports of unruly children being tied to beds and beaten, of outdated equipment not being replaced, and of needles being reused in countries with high HIV infection rates (such as Haiti) until they were so blunt they caused pain. All of this wrapped up in a culture of unquestioning obedience, secrecy, and control that is said to resemble a cult.

2.This might all be fine if the Missionaries were doing some good, but they weren't. In 1991, German magazine Stern revealed that only 7 percent of donations to the organization were used for charity. The rest was funneled into secret bank accounts or used to build more missions. There are reports that missions won"t even buy bread to feed their inmates, preferring instead to rely only on donated food.

3.And where does all this money come from? Well, some of it comes from regular, kind-hearted folk giving what they can. A heck of a lot more came from some of the most evil men who ever lived. Mother Teresa herself personally took large donations from the psychopathic Haitian dictator publicly defending his blood-soaked rule in return. In the 1990s, fraudster Charles Keating donated 1.25 million of stolen dollars to the Missionaries. When asked to return the fraudulent money, Mother Teresa simply stayed silent.

4.Mother Teresa undoubtedly did some good things in her time, but they may yet be overshadowed by her despicale legacy. In 2010, Forbes revealed that the first home she set up had a mortality rate of over 40 percent. If the poor have friends like her, they no longer need enemies.



The proposition is that Mother Teresa was a fraud. It does not matter a jot whether she refused to buy food for her patients, or inflicted severe pain on them by using blunt needles. She might have enjoyed killing small animals in her spare time. It matters not.

Was Mother Teresa a fraud? No.

Just two of your arguments relate to fraud, each of which I shall examine forthwith.

1. Mother Teresa accepted money from the "psychopathic" Duvaliers, yes, but this was a donation. She did not fraudulently acquire the money. It might be morally dubious, but it is not fraud.

2. You cite Stern Magazine's report. It states that, in 1991 alone, Mother Teresa's order, in England, took in DM 5.3 million, and incurred expenses (including charitable expenses) of DM 360,000, or less than 7%. The rest of the money was moved to her central account in Rome, and used for unknown purposes. Quite a bit of this money was used to build more missions as you admit. There is no suggestion of fraud or embezzlement. There is just the question, where did the money go? It was legitimate money donated to the order, and not fraudulently obtained.

I'm an atheist, and I've read Hitchens' book, so I'm sympathetic, but you have not proved your case.

Debate Round No. 2


1. The donation was not fraudulent. The fact remains that the funds she received from donations were used for untruthful purposes. Acquiring money from oppressive regimes when you claim to fight oppression is simply hypocritical.

2. Again, it is irrelevant if she actually used some of the funds for charitable work. Even Hitler used state funds for social welfare...
3. Her missions have been described as homes for the dying by doctors visiting several of these establishments.
Doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. But the authors say the problem is not a lack of money, as the foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundred of millions of pounds. They also say that following numerous natural disasters in India she offered prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid.

4. But she accepted the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti and although millions of dollars were transferred to the various bank accounts, most of the accounts were kept secret.
Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?




1) My opponent concedes that the "donation was not fraudulent." Excellent.

2 + 3) Again, it doesn't matter if she didn't spend her money on the poor. The question is whether or not she was a fraud. She never said she would give her money to the poor. It's not even misrepresentation, never mind fraud.

4) One may indeed ask where the millions have gone, but this is not evidence that she engaged in fraudulent activities. I'd like to know where the money went, but it hasn't been embezzled, she used legitimate monies donated to her order for her own use and placed it in various secret accounts. That is not fraud. She did not sign a contract with her donors stating her intent to spend the money on the poor. Credulous people donated money to her order with no strings attached. None of this is fraud.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by benko12345678 1 year ago
I don't support the DPRK . The problem is that the DPRK is under imperialist threat at all times and I feel I have to defend it, even if it's not really socialist.
Posted by SebUK 1 year ago
Why does pro use the DPRK flag? If anything it is an example of a failure of a socialist economy.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
benko12345678 have anything to say against that?
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
I never claimed it was embezzlement...I stated that the use of the funds was fraudulent. Of course there are no legal reforms. It's a non-profit organization. Using the funds for an unknown cause and not the cause that was promised, it is fraud. The money that was donated was not used how the donors expected it to be used...therefore it is fraud
Posted by theskeptik 2 years ago
Susan Shields (formerly Sr Virgin) says in one article, "The money was not misused, but the largest part of it wasn"t used at all." The money is donated to the order. There are no legal restraints on what this money is used for. At worst, donors are fools for donating to this organisation. But, there's no fraud.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
Skeptic, she DID say she would give it to the poor...The money was meant to go to treatment of the poor in Calcutta...
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
Hey bodie, they crucified Jesus on trumped on charges. How do you know Stalin did all that bad stuff?
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
And Stalin is your hero.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
what kind of fraud? That she didn't exist at all??
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
There isn't a question...The proposition is that Mother Teresa's 'Charity' was a sham. She didn't use any of her funds for the poor.
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