This house believes that Mother Teresa was a fraud
Debate Rounds (3)
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
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 There are reports of unruly children being tied to beds and beaten, of outdated equipment not being replaced, and of needles being reused in countries with high HIV infection rates (such as Haiti) until they were so blunt they caused pain.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.
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.
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