Summary of “Mother Teresa: The Untold Story” – Aroup Chatterjee

Mother Teresa’s contribution

Mother Teresa right from the time she fled Albania to her death, remained a missionary, and demonstrated an astute ability to play to the gallery to further her aims.Teresa-contributions

  1. Destroyed Calcutta’s image in the mind of people outside India by propagating false stories and statistics to further her missionary cause.
  2. Made fool of people by propagation her program of natural contraception – using temperature charges and fertility thermometers.
  3. She made great contribution in missionary activities by baptising the people in their deathbed. She also created enormous psychological pressure on the poor residents to convert.
  4. On international level, Teresa’s political agenda was narrow, consisting of the ‘politics’ of human reproductive intervention and Catholicism.
  5. Issuing character certificate to criminals and despots as long as they were doing alright in terms of religion and abortion.
  6. Along with Vatican worked closed with CIA for the destruction of the socialist block in Eastern Europe, undermine the Left movement in Latin America and destabilise Cuba.
  7. She maintained poor standards of service in her limited charity centers though claiming lofty standards and facilities to public as well as gullible donors.

Teresa’s main views

Mother Teresa was a missionary with strong political skills who knew how to play with the crowd and media alike. Her views changed based on country and audience. Some of them are listed with her demonstration of support:Teresa-main views

  1. Anti-Abortion:
  • In 1970 she wrote a famous letter to Moraji Desai, the then prime minister of India, where she severely upbraided him for not outlawing abortion.
  • In 1983 she went to Ireland to join prime minister Charles Haughty, to campaign against abortion. This was more in open.
  • In 1988 she went to London to put pressure on prime minister Thatcher and British MPs to support David Alton’s bill to reduce the time limit of abortion from 24 to 18 weeks – a sponsored trip by anti-abortionists. This was done with subterfuge.
  • She publicly endorsed by writing a foreword to Letters to Gabriel, by Karen Santorum, wife of the fiercely anti-abortion, anti-contraception, misogynist pro-gun Republican Senator Rick Santorum.
  • Instrumental in trivialising the Cairo Population Control by representing Vatican and similar views.

2. Against Contraception:

  • She part funded a fraud and statistically heavily flawed ‘medical’ study on natural contraception. The ‘studies’ was done on 17,000 slum women of Calcutta by giving them thermometer, temperature chart and ability to check the character of cervical mucus. The only result was that many of the women became pregnant.
  • She claimed in her Nobel Prize speech that 61,273 fewer babies were born because of practicing her bogus natural contraception.

3. In favor of Emergency:

  • Her friendship with Gandhi’s was sufficient to issue a certificate in favour of state of emergency. She declared, ‘People are happier. There are more jobs. There are no strikes.’

Predictably Missing in any Humanitarian Crisis

Mother Teresa gives an impression everywhere she goes around that she and her organisation, Missionaries of Charities, is always engaged in relief work during any humanitarian crisis. In reality she does no work either for short-term relief nor long-term reconstruction. Worse was during Bhopal gas tragedy when she exhibited her insensitivity and urged people to “forgive” the criminals. The list of humanitarian crisis that she and her order skipped and where major relief agencies did lot of work is listed:

  1. Dec 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
  2. 30 Sep 1993 Latur earthquake.
  3. Monsoon 1995 Devastating flood in West Bengal. 200,000 more homeless in Calcutta.
  4. Monsoon 1996 Devastating flood in northern districts of West Bengal.
  5. 1999 Orissa Cyclone: 10,000 dead, 275,000 homes destroyed (her order since she died 1997)
  6. 2001 Gujarat Earthquake. 20,000 dead, 400,000 homes destroyed (her order)
  7. 2004 Indian Tsunami. 20,000 dead (her order)

In Company of Crime & Criminals

Mother did not care about the colour of money – even if it came from crime or criminals. Her lack of transparency in declaring her accounts ensured that her crime was not evident except in major scandals.Teresa-with criminals

  1. Alexander Loce, who was convicted of trespassing into an abortion clinic to stop his ex-fiancee from having an abortion, and Teresa came in to file a ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief.
  2. MC’s main bank is ‘Vatican bank’ formally known as the Institute for Religions Works (IOR). In 1981, Teresa’s own order became the subject of investigations by Italian authorities for currency irregularities – also called money laundering.
  3. After a closed-door meeting with Michele Duvalier in Haiti, Mother gave him a certificate for ‘a person with poor in the country’. Shortly afterwards, the Duvaliers were forced to fleet Haiti in the middle of the night, because poor came to their senses. The Duvaliers employed creative means of torturing people and they were also fervently anti-abortion Catholics. MC received large funds from them regularly but the amounts remain secret.
  4. Mother’s special relationship with Charles Keating, one of history’s biggest swindlers, and the biggest thief (until then) in the history of United States, is well known. He stole $253 million, mostly money of small investors, and apart from $1.25 million to her, also gave her the free use of his personal jet. In spite of request from Attorney to return the money to their rightful owners, she did not pay need.
  5. In 2001 it came to light that former FBI agent and KGB spy Robert Hansen, a devout Catholic, who received at least 1.4 million pounds from the KGB, gave a large part of his proceeds to Mother Teresa. Not surprisingly there is no declaration of this donation.
  6. In 1980 (a year after Nobel), MC falsified the documents of 7-year-old Sonaton Dhar and sold him to a Belgian Catholic couple for Rs. 125,000. This was done based on forged permission from grandmother, and even then that is illegal – child trafficking. Thanks to slavish mentality of Indians, MC escaped prosecution.
  7. In September 2011 Teresa’s order was issued with a criminal charge by Moscow municipality for illegal construction and the MC centre was bulldozed to the ground.
  8. In 2012 it came to light that Mother Teresa actively shielded a paedophile priest called Father Donald McGuire. She wrote letter to get his ministry resumed. From 1993, nine charges of series paedophilia were made against him, and he went to prison for 25 years.

Insensitivity to the Needy

Mother Teresa has displayed in many occasions insensitivity while dealing with people especially poor.Teresa-Insensitivity

  1. After the gas tragedy, the Nobel laureate rushed to Bhopal like an international dignitary. She looked at the carnage, nodded gravely and said, “I say, forgive”. There was stunned silence in the audience. On top her organisation (MC) did not provide any support. Her act was crass, insensitive and a gratuitous insult to the dead and suffering all of whom were poor slum dwellers.
  2. On 30 August 1996, a poor woman named was wailing in front of Shishu Bhavan entrance with two kids. She was thrown out of her slum home and sought shelter for one night. The nuns refused except on condition that the mother waive all parental rights to her children to MC. However Teresa goes around the world claiming, “There is always room for another child in my home.’
  3. In 1990 when John Unger, one-time president of the West Virginia International Trade Development Council worked as a volunteer in Calcutta, when accompanying with Mother Teresa to a village, a woman with baby approached nun and said, “Mother, in my village there is dying and diesel. Can you help?” Mother Teresa, in her usual practice, threw up her arms and said she could not help, that she was only one person. Realising the presence of influential Westerner, Mother later older Unger that she prayed about the incident all night. Pure Drama.
  4. On 11 October 1986, when Teresa’s plane skidded off the runway in Tanzania, which killed five people including two children and one of her nuns, she attended the funeral of her nun. She did not see the dead children’s relatives nor attend their funeral or talk about them.
  5. In her Nirmal Hriday people are put up in ‘MC beds’ that is short and narrow than the standard bed, and stands about a feet high from the ground. There are lined up close to each other, a foot apart and are lined up at an angle in two rows that look like fish bone growing out of a spine. The residents were forced to lie on their pallets and not allowed to get up and walk around the room.
  6. The people in the home were assigned number painted over their pallets. Teresa often railed against the faceless, nameless society where individuals loses identity. However this is exactly what she practiced in her home for dying.
  7. The Sisters have little or no medical training and was nursing and medical work was done by volunteers.Dan Leighton reports that in his seven months at Nirmal Hriday he never saw nuns touching the residents or talking to them.
  8. In 1982, Teresa travelled to Japan to address anti-abortion meetings organised by Catholics in Japan. After visiting the memorial for Atom Bomb Victims in Nagasaki she blithely told survivors that the greatest destroyer of peace in the world was abortion.
  9. Her letter to Moraji Desai after he became the prime minister is well known. She was protesting at curbing of certain benefits that Christian missionaries enjoyed and her spite included statement like, ‘Are you not afraid of God?…Mr. Desai, you are so close to meeting God face to face. I wonder what answer you will give…’

Manslaughter

Mother practiced many acts which was dangerous to patients and caretakers but she was theoretically obsessed with bringing people closer to Jesus through suffering (except herself).

  1. Teresa was a firm believer in suffering in people as a means of reaching God. This meant that she never provided pain killers, medicine or took proper medical care of patients, because of which many attained early death. Many of her volunteers have expressed disbelief at this practice and tried to change practice, but failed.
  2. On 19 March 1980 Mother Teresa’s hostel for homeless women in Salisbury Road in London’s Kilburn area caught fire an ten women were burnt to death. An utter lackadaisical attitude to safety since the hostel did not have even a fire extinguisher.
  3. On 3 May 1992 Ms Loudon’s criticism appeared in The Observer. It was a scathing attack on Teresa based on the voluntary work done in the home for the dying in Calcutta. She alleged severe neglected that reminded her of Nazi concentration camp and described customary activities such as the washing of old needles in cold water.
  4. It was a customary practice to wash and reuse disposable latex gloves – a dangerous practice.
  5. It is worldwide practice to avoid recapping needles because that is the #1 way caretakers are infected by patient. However MC is a law on to themselves and they advocate a procedure to recap needles.
  6. When Dan Leighton, after his seven months internship in 1990, was critical of washing the dishes in the same place as soiled blankets, which often had faeces on them.
  7. MC stored the erratic corporation water in ground-level open tank and used this stagnant water for all their cleaning tasks. This is risky practice because TB and other infection are common.
  8. Tracey Leonard reports that his helpers have a lackadaisical approach to matters medical. He quotes an example when yelling and accusing them of murder at giving steroid Prednisolone instead of Paracetamol, they simply smile and tell that it is all in God’s hands.
  9. In the life of MC, more importance is given to prayer than to actual work. Mother refuses to employ a full-time doctor, and is happy to have the free service from volunteers. Most of lack of application to save a patient life is justified by her favorite saying, ‘If God wants something, it will be done’.
  10. In Shishu Bhavan it is common sight to see five to eight children in one cot. Bottles, beakers and spoon are shared for every child. When babies’ bottom are wiped after they have been to the toilet, the same cloth is passed in rotation from child to child.
  11. In 2005 the investigative journalist Donal Macintyre entered an MC Calcutta orphanage (Daya Dan) with a secret camera. He shoed children unattended on toilets for long period, children with hands tied while being fed, and also a child who was tethered to a cot with a rope for the night. It was a clear breach of children’s human rights and the Indian government was so much in awe of an Albanian nun that it for decade allowed the abuse of its own citizens.
  12. During Teresa’s lifetime, the powdered mild for babies and toddlers at Mother’s orphanage was ‘Monidyne’, manufactured by the Belgian company Belgomilk. It was specially packaged for MC with blue border on white tin. It was a substandard product with low nutritional value and lacking necessary nutrients. It would not be an exaggeration to say that many babies would die if fed solely on Monidyne before weaning age. If this happened in any other country it could have caused a national scandal.

Misuse of Funds and Donations

Mother has collected lot of funds in the name of poor in Calcutta and beyond. Most of it was used in her missionary propagation and training of her religious order rather than in actual helping of poor. Even donated goods and articles are misused by her order.Teresa-misuse of funds

  1. The small fleet of “ambulances’, many of them donated by business and individuals, painted to appear such with red bacons; are used as taxi service for nuns with necessary alteration done (no provision for carrying stretcher, rails on floor removed and side seats replaced by sofas. It is sometimes also used to transport live squawking chickens for the nun’s annual feast.
  2. The Sister are known to pinch stuff that is meant for the poor. Every Christmas lot of clothes that come from abroad; the same time Sisters get their yearly visit from their family members. Most of the clothes and goodies are sent away with nun’s relatives. A lot of food ration that is mean for the poor is also sold, mostly to the local shops.
  3. On 8 March 1984, Christies of Amsterdam auctioned a private art collection to raise more than 30,000 pounds specifically for the home in Kalighat. Not surprisingly nothing was spend there.
  4. In Delhi orphanage with the donation of Berger paints, instead of painting children’s room, the convent and chapel was redecorated.
  5. People who send Mother Teresa money should realise that majority of the money is spend in upkeep of nuns and Brothers, and in the training of priests.
  6. In 1981 Teresa got the Discovery Medal of Marquette University (a Jesuit institution) in Milwaukee, which came with a public donation of $150,000. No cent of the money came to India.
  7. In June 1982, a Calcutta-born woman left Teresa $165,000 in her will in Toronto, even that money did not come to Calcutta.
  8. In same month People of Alberta, Canada gave her a donation of $925,000, which made no impact in Calcutta.
  9. In 1990 Yasser Arafat gave her $50,000 when he came to Calcutta. What happened to that? We will never know.
  10. Most of the funds even if donations were earmarked for Children most of it was sent to ‘H.Q.Rome’.
  11. In 1970s Mother set up the ‘Child Welfare Scheme’ where donors could sponsor an orphaned or abandoned child. Again the funds collected were sent to ‘H.Q.Rome’.

Imaginary Tales

Teresa and her propaganda machinery created lot of stories to further her cause. Most of them can be verified to be false.Teresa-Imaginary tales

  1. It is assumed that world over that, when Agnes Bojaxhiu stepped out of a ship in Calcutta, the young woman left a life of plenty to come to savage and desperate city. The reality was different. Mother Teresa was an ethnic Albanian from the Balkan city of Skopje. Her family had always lived with instability being Catholics in a Muslim majority area. She, like many Catholic women of the region, became a nun, partly to escape poverty and persecution. She also offered an imaginary tale of ‘Italian descent’ and family descended of ‘Venetian merchants’ although she was from poor peasant stock.
  2. She claimed a story of a woman who was found in gutters with worms eating everywhere into her flesh except her face; Mothers and sisters had to individually extract the worms. The woman died with words on her lips,”I have lived like an animal, but I’m dying like an angel!” Obviously angels do not have divine connotation for Hindu women.
  3. A parable of Mother desperately seeking fund for a house in London then suddenly opening a purse and finding the exact amount!
  4. Her biographers claim that she taught Bengali alphabet to the children of Motijheel slum in 1940s when she start her work. Even with her claim of devoting her life to he city’s poor and 70 supposed years in Calcutta, Teresa was not conversant in Bengali. She retained a prominent Balkan accent and her Bengali was stilted and basic with some stock missionary phrases.
  5. After her Nobel Prize was announced, Newsweek covered an article which stated that she did ‘regular visits to the sick and the dying poor: she washes their bodies, cleans their toilets and empties their bed pans. All this was utterly untrue. Another imaginary tale was her treating a temple priest in 1950s from cholera.

Peddling Lies

Mother was known to speak lies even in Nobel acceptance speech.Teresa-Peddling lies

  1. 15th June, 1995 – While touring the neonatal unit at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Centre in Brighton, Massachusetts, she told the media, “I have 200 small babies in my hospital in Calcutta”. Fact: She neither has any hospital in Calcutta, not anywhere in the world.
  2. In interview with Lucinda Vardey, Mother Teresa mentioned working flat-out during floods in Calcutta, characteristically, without providing any specific detail. Fact: A blatant lie since her organisation never undertakes such work and almost always she is away during summer and monsoon from India.
  3. In her address to a gathering in NewYork, she acted glum and announced that she longed to return to Calcutta. Fact: In actual fact, she returned to Rome.
  4. She claimed, “on the ground floor of Shishu Bhavan [her orphanage in Calcutta] there are cooking facilities to feed over thousand people daily.” In 1970s depending on her audience her numbers would be 4000, 7000, 9000 or 10,000. Fact: The soup kitchen there feeds about 50 people for lunch and 20 people for dinner, and only to people who has food card.
  5. He claim of number of people ‘picked up’ at various occasions – 27,000 (1973, Melbourne), 36,000 (1973, Sydney), 36,000 (1978, Germany) and 36,000 (1979, Oslo Nobel Acceptance Speech). Fact: She would have picked up about 500 people each year.
  6. Teresa claimed that she runs a modern school in Motijheel with over 5000 children in it (a number with Biblical connotation) to Malcom Muggeridge. Fact: She has teaching room there and has 100 pupils.
  7. Her statistic, imaginary of course, on number of fewer babies born in Calcutta in previous six years was 61,273 or 134,000 and in 1982 became 1 million.
  8. She claimed in her Nobel speech that neglect of family is worst crime. Fact: However back in Calcutta, any attempt to get a person taken in, if it is a family case is a strict “NO” based on the rule formulated by Mother.
  9. In Audrey Constant’s book, supposedly verified by Mother, Teresa claims that Missionaries of Charity have 122 leprosy clinics. Fact: Only one clinic in Calcutta, a weekly open air clinic with average attendance of 60 cases. Another lie that the city is so overwhelmed by lepers that a special church has to be earmarked for them. Fact: No such church exists.
  10. On 13 July 1977 she said in London to an assembly of her ‘co-workers’, ‘We spend ₹ 20,000 a week just on food for the 59 centres we have in Calcutta. Fact: Then she had four centres.
  11. Mother Teresa frequently said, ‘We depend solely on providence. We don’t accept government grants. We don’t accept church donations…’. Fact: 95% of MC buildings have been donated by either governments or by the Catholic Church.
  12. She said in Carmelite Church in Dublin in 1979, ‘The Sisters go out at night to work, to pick up people from the streets…’. Fact: They do not.
  13. She made outrageous claim that she taught ‘thousands of children’ in Calcutta during 1970-71. Fact: She did not have a single school. Her order did some toke teaching in the roof terrace of Nirmal Friday, but most of it was spent on Catholic brainwashing of Hindu and Muslim children.
  14. She made frequent statement around the world that she encouraged all faiths. Fact: Her classroom-type activities were solely Catholic and no other faith is allowed to be discussed or uttered.
  15. Mother once said to Hello! magazine, describing her Calcutta operations, ‘We spend Rs. 100,000 every month on rice alone… We declare everything we get to the government. It’s better that way because it means we have nothing to hide! Fact: She never published her accounts despite requests to do so.
  16. After her Nobel ceremony in 1979, she said that she would put $160,000 or so towards good work in Calcutta. Fact: No result on ground.
  17. On 14 January 1992, in a talk at Scripps Clinic, she claimed that the government of China asked her to open houses there. Fact: She put numerous representation through various channels including two secret trips, but never allowed to open.

How Calcutta View Her

Mother was not a prominent person in Calcutta unlike what the west think of her.

  1. In cases where any victim is turned down by hospital, Calcutta Corporation or even Teresa’s organisation and they died, the blame is never put on Teresa’s organisation since Teresa was never viewed in Calcutta as a saviour.
  2. She was mostly unheard to ordinary people in Calcutta until her Nobel Prize. Prior to that her name was familiar in some missionary school where she used to appear regularly, talk of scriptures and talk of donations.
  3. Even when she was on her way to Oslo or on her arrival at the airport after receiving the Nobel Prize (prize money was deposited at the Vatican bank, mostly even the medal), there was no major crowd to see her (compare with Amartya Sen).
  4. Some of her critics include an article in Amrita Bazaar Patrika where her missionary activity was criticized. It added that no other country would have offered her so many facilities and tolerated her open support of fraudulent proselytization.
  5. In Jyoti Basu’s authorised biography Mother Teresa does not get a single mention in the text. In his book there is not a single mention of Teresa!
  6. In September 2004, Biman Bose, CPI-M party chief commenting on Ricky Martin’s visit to the city to do charity, Bose said, ‘Like Mother Teresa, the new breed of do-gooders are branding the metropolis as a doomed city inhabited by beggars, orphans…If such a pathetic picture of Kolkata is painted the world over how can we expect investors to have any faith in the city? Their charity is costing us dearly.’
  7. The publication Who’s Who in India did not have Teresa in the 1,700 illustrious names of India in 1973.
  8. In 2000, http://www.calonline.com did a poll to elect the most significant contributors to Calcutta in various fields. Mother Teresa got two votes, fewer than most politicians. In the ‘most charitable person’ category Vidyasagar topped.
  9. When she was seriously unwell the international journalists travelled to Calcutta expecting large crowds mourning for her, but they were astonished at the lack of public concern.
  10. It is no wonder that if Calcutta audits the contribution of Teresa in the improvement of infrastructure or life of poor, based on the large donations she received in that name, she would fare very poorly.
  11. On 15 October 2000, despite a fair amount of advance publicity, the fiftieth anniversary celebration of her order drew about 100 members of the public.

Publicity Stunt and Deceit

Teresa was a consummate actor when it came to handling media and politics.Teresa-Publicity stunt

  1. She claimed that she wanted to die lie a poor in her ‘terrible home’. However in reality she always checked in to best hospitals when she was not well – 1996 in city’s Woodlands Clinic and Birla Heart Institute, earlier in Gemelli Hospital in Rome and Scripps Clinic in California.
  2. It is not generally known that Mother Teresa used to wear a spinal brace; even that was made for her specially in the US by the American Professional Bracing Inc.
  3. In 1985, during her whirling tour of the world during her missionary activities, Mother Teresa quietly underwent a cataract operation in New York’s St. Vincent’s Hospital. This has to be done quietly, as only a year back she had, amidst great publicity, said no to an offer from St. Francis Medical Centre in Pittsburg to operate her cataracts for free. Humbly declining the offer, she has said that she could not accept the $5,000 treatment when she could have the same operation in India, the media wowed.
  4. In the home for the dying, Mother taught the sisters how to secretly baptise those who were dying. Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if he wanted a ‘ticket to heaven’. If affirmative, then it was done in secret giving an impression of cooling the person’s forehead with wet cloth, saying necessary words.
  5. Teresa admitted on 14 January 1992 at Scripps Clinic, California, while recovering heart surgery, that conversion was done in stealth. He claimed to provide special ticket for St. Peter. She claimed 29,000 have died in that one house [in Kalighat] after receiving her ticket. She had the gumption never to talk about conversion in India, but only to her American audience. YouTube Video
  6. In 1996 one of the inventors of the latest pacemaker wanted to donate one to Mother Teresa as well as medical service to replace her old one. Through another sister she refused politely, saying she couldn’t accept special privileges. [She already had the best pacemaker fitted.]
  7. Teresa ensure that the children’s area were intentionally kept grim in order to make shocked Europeans part with on-the-spot donations. Posters of cartoon characters, if placed by volunteers were quickly removed. The only pictures allowed on the orphanage walls were those of Teresa and Jesus.
  8. Teresa never compromised religion for sake of charity. Bhutan refused permission for opening her home since she wanted a strong catholic element in the home. In Colombo her home soon closed after flaring religious tensions. Vietnam also she was asked to leave. In Belfast where she claimed to bridge the gap between Catholics and protestants, she caused more tension and was asked to leave.
  9. She endorsed the fictional book City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre, a heavily loaded book furthering the missionary cause by degrading Hinduism, India and Indians. The book, although a fiction, not surprisingly had blurb by Pope John Paul II.
  10. Teresa’s first and most famous establishment, Nirmal Friday, is a small building 30 by 30 metres surrounded by shops unlike the image provided by her propaganda. Even when Pope John Paul II visited, he could only bless 36 of them.
  11. During Nov 1995, Teresa joined in the march for reservation for Dalit Christians. When media (even Statesman) and political leaders (Sushama Swaraj) criticised her stand and hypocrisy that the demand proved that Christianity does not have equality as they claimed during conversion, she did a volte-face and denied any support for the cause. A politician could not have done it better.

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