2015-01-17

慈善巨人 Greg Mortenson 的墮落

原來,讀後探索也可以很刺激,很有得著。

因緣巧合,讀了Jon Krakauer的小書Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way。

- 對於Krakauer,我只知道他是Into The Wild的作者。很喜歡那部改編電影,後來把原著找來讀了一遍。
- 曾堯角落:Into the Wild

書的簡介告訴讀者,Jon Krakauer將在書中揭露Greg Mortenson這位慈善巨人的謊言和誇大。Greg Mortenson何許人?未讀書前對他一無所知,連名字都未聽過。

原來他1993年攀登世界第二高峰K2失敗,回程迷路,感恩於某巴基斯坦聚落的照顧,發願從此致力為巴基斯坦阿富汗一帶貧窮偏遠且受塔利班(Taliban)威脅的地方,廣建學校讓兒童受開明教育。他的努力非常成功,過往十多二十年籌得大量善款,建了很多學校,而他也成為受景仰的名人,還曾獲諾貝爾和平獎提名。

Jon Krakauer在書中(和CBS 60 Minutes節目)揭發他的奇幻經歷之失實處,和他名下的NGO(Central Asia Institute)在管理和操作上的種種問題..........

- Quicklet on Jon Krakauer's Three Cups of Deceit: Overall Summary
- CBS: Questions over Greg Mortenson's stories

讀了Jon Krakauer這部2011年出版的非常令人信服的“一面之詞”,很好奇有何後續,Greg Mortenson如何回應?他的光環會褪色嗎?

原來,讀後探索也可以很刺激,很有得著。

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面對幾乎毫無認識的題目,我慣常以Wikipedia為起點,這次也不例外。不過,不管是Three Cups of Deceit還是Greg Mortenson條,讀著總覺得怪怪的。多讀其他幾篇文章再回頭看,問題就很清楚了。Greg Mortenson條很“官方”味道,以揚善為主,而Three Cups of Deceit條非常簡短,只集中書出版後各方即時反應。文中提及好友登山夥伴Scott Darsney支持Mortenson的回應,卻沒提及差不多同時在同一本雜誌發表的Mortenson(承認了至少部分指控)訪問。很明顯,Mortenson支持者在操控著這兩Wikipedia條目。

- Wikipedia: Greg Mortenson
- Wikipedia: Three Cups of Deceit

- Outside: Greg Mortenson Speaks
- Outside: Scott Darsney Questions the Accuracy and Fairness of "Three Cups of Deceit"
(Outside網把這兩篇文章的刊登日期誤寫為2009年,奇怪)
(另,不管是laptop或tablet瀏覽器,Greg Mortenson Speaks的後半部分都出現文字重疊,不能閱讀。把它轉為pdf,問題依舊。有誰能無誤地看到整篇文章嗎?請告知。)

- 译言:【纽约客】《三杯茶》的真相:摩顿森错在哪里? (一篇The New Yorker文章,原文中譯對照)

2013年(即60 Minutes報導和Three Cups of Deceit出版兩年後),經更多資料披露和政府調查,Jon Krakauer問:Is It Time to Forgive Greg Mortenson?。答案是否定的:

When arguing that Mortenson’s wrongdoing should be forgiven, his supporters have pointed out that were it not for his efforts, thousands of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan wouldn’t have received an education. This is a compelling argument. Indeed, had Mortenson owned up to his mistakes and expressed remorse after the scandal broke in April 2011, I would have been among the first to forgive him.

It’s hard to pardon someone, however, who maintains that he has done nothing wrong. Mortenson’s irresponsible management of CAI has not merely wasted millions of dollars contributed by trusting donors. It’s also done incalculable damage to important CAI programs and the people they were supposed to help.

去年初,Greg Mortenson首度現身,接受電視簡短訪問:


- Oregon Live: Greg Mortenson thanks '60 Minutes' and Jon Krakauer for exposing his misdeeds

The segment ended with Brokaw asking Mortenson what he would say to a college freshman who had been assigned "Three Cups of Tea" and then learned about problems with it. Mortenson replied that "in 'Three Cups of Tea' the first word is failure. I failed in many ways, and it's an important lesson. I'm going to try as hard as I can never to make the same mistakes again."

墮落的慈善巨人Greg Mortenson,年底“重新出發,回歸初衷”:

- Washington Post: Mortenson returns to Afghanistan, trying to move past his ‘Three Cups of Tea’ disgrace

Jon Krakauer怎麼看?Greg Mortenson, Disgraced Author of ‘Three Cups of Tea,’ Believes He Will Have the Last Laugh - And here’s why he might be right

As for Mortenson, he’s a tragic and ultimately perplexing figure. Perhaps his efforts to conceal his lies by compulsively refashioning them into ever more convoluted lies can be explained by some emotional wound he suffered in the distant past. On the other hand, maybe he’s simply playing the percentages. As P.T. Barnum noted, you really can fool some of the people all of the time. And “some” can be a big number. Mortenson is selling hope at a time when the prospects for much of the world are looking increasingly grim. It’s counterfeit hope, for the most part, but it makes his supporters feel good about themselves, and that’s reason enough for faithful donors to refrain from asking questions, cling stubbornly to the illusion, and keep sending checks to CAI. Think of it as a perverse variant of the placebo effect. Although this doesn’t absolve Mortenson, it spreads the blame around, because in the final analysis, the only thing that allows people like him to remain in business is public demand for what they’re hawking.