Kony 2012 Organization Exposed; Supports Military Dictatorship, Makes Millions Off Fake Cause

0 Posted by - March 13, 2012 - Career & Business, Conspiracies & Scandals, Economics, Film & Television, Foreign Affairs, Military, Police State, Religion, Video

invisiblechildren12 300x225 Kony 2012 Organization Exposed; Supports Military Dictatorship, Makes Millions Off Fake CauseAccording to Jason Russell’s appearance on the Today show several days ago, over 500,000 action kits have been ordered at $30 a piece, meaning this campaign has brought in a minimum of $15M in revenue this week. This is great news: at least 500,000 people are “advocate[s] of awesome” according to the group’s webstore! So where’s that money going? I’ll leave it to Jedidiah Jenkins, Invisible Children’s Director of Ideology:

Thirty-seven percent of our budget goes directly to central African-related programs, about 20 percent goes to salaries and overhead, and the remaining 43 percent goes to our awareness programs. […] But aside from that, the truth about Invisible Children is that we are not an aid organization, and we don’t intend to be. I think people think we’re over there delivering shoes or food. But we are an advocacy and awareness organization.”

Yes, you heard it from Invisible Children: more money goes to awareness than to Africa.

More detailed breakdown from the Guardian’s Julian Borger, John Vidal, and Rosebell Kagumire in Kampala, Uganda:

“Invisible Children’s accounts show it is a cash rich operation, which more than tripled its income to $9m (£5.68m) in 2011, mainly from personal donations. Of this, nearly 25% was spent on travel and film-making. Most of the money raised has been spent in the US. The accounts show $1.7m went on US employee salaries, $850,000 in film production costs, $244,000 in “professional services” – thought to be Washington lobbyists – and $1.07m in travel expenses. Nearly $400,000 was spent on offices in San Diego.”

Information about how they intend to spend their windfall 2012 revenue of a bare minimum of $15M has not been released, but as I wrote earlier, at least $3000 would’ve gone to flying me to both San Diego and Africa had I allowed them to do so. (Story behind that at the bottom of this post.) If I were Invisible Children, I’d start talking about where this new money’s going. I’m emailing Jason and Ben a link to this post to see if they’re willing to post a financial plan for the year ahead – is there yet another film in store?

RELATED: Kony 2012 charity to release new video addressing criticism of viral campaign

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Kony 2012 Group Supports Uganda’s Brutal Military Dictatorship

The Daily What
Monday, March 12, 2012

On Kony 2012: I honestly wanted to stay as far away as possible from KONY 2012, the latest fauxtivist fad sweeping the web (remember “change your Facebook profile pic to stop child abuse”?), but you clearly won’t stop sending me that damn video until I say something about it, so here goes:

Stop sending me that video.

The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.

Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.

By IC’s own admission, only 31% of all the funds they receive go toward actually helping anyone[pdf]. The rest go to line the pockets of the three people in charge of the organization, to pay for their travel expenses (over $1 million in the last year alone) and to fund their filmmaking business (also over a million) — which is quite an effective way to make more money, as clearly illustrated by the fact that so many can’t seem to stop forwarding their well-engineered emotional blackmail to everyone they’ve ever known.

And as far as what they do with that money:

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Let’s not get our lines crossed: The Lord’s Resistance Army is bad news. And Joseph Kony is a very bad man, and needs to be stopped. But propping up Uganda’s decades-old dictatorship and its military arm, which has been accused by the UN ofcommitting unspeakable atrocities and itself facilitated the recruitment of child soldiers, is not the way to go about it.

The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”

Myopically placing the blame for all of central Africa’s woes on Kony — even as a starting point — will only imperil many more people than are already in danger.

Sending money to a nonprofit that wants to muck things up by dousing the flames with fuel is not helping. Want to help? Really want to help? Send your money to nonprofits that are putting more than 31% toward rebuilding the region’s medical and educational infrastructure, so that former child soldiers have something worth coming home to.

Here are just a few of those charities. They all have a sparkling four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and, more importantly, no interest in airdropping American troops armed to the teeth into the middle of a multi-nation tribal war to help one madman catch another.

The bottom line is, research your causes thoroughly. Don’t just forward a random video to a stranger because a mass murderer makes a five-year-old “sad.” Learn a little bit about the complexities of the region’s ongoing strife before advocating for direct military intervention.

There is no black and white in the world. And going about solving important problems like there is just serves to make all those equally troubling shades of gray invisible.

All stories linked on Prison Planet.

6 Comments

  • thelesseroftwoevils March 14, 2012 - 3:56 AM

    “why do we have this video now” well because people are bringing this to light, mis use of funds aside more people now know about this then ever before and Kony’s atrocity’s are terrible but you should educate yourself because they never said that Uganda was a hell hole and they plainly say in the video that Kony has left Uganda and is into other places and “are we going to care until we get him” well thats the point for the video and since your talking about it then it must be working, but before you jump on trying to be a “you tube” superstar maybe educate yourself instead of spouting “rumours”

    • TheSwash.com March 14, 2012 - 7:00 AM

      I didn’t make the video, therefore I’m not trying to be a YouTube superstar. As far as “rumors”, the documentary was full of a ton of them as well as misinformation and half-truths but it is easier to take things at face value, not challenge yourself or what you want to believe and attack the other side of their argument without looking at all of the evidence objectively.

  • Jake March 16, 2012 - 2:58 PM

    They admit they’re not bringing emergency supplies to Uganda, so that means they’re ripping people off? They’re doing exactly what they said they’re doing in the video. Nobody ever said 100% of their donations were going toward directly helping Ugandan people. They said they want to make the world aware of what Kony is doing, wherever he’s doing it. I’m aware now. You’re aware now. Had I donated in the first place I wouldn’t have a problem with it now. It’s easy to take things at face value you say? You mean the vague allegations against IC? Because that’s what you took at face value, champ. Congrats on being as intelligent as the people you’re calling out for donating to IC in the first place.

    • TheSwash.com March 16, 2012 - 3:14 PM

      Thanks for being intelligent enough to not notice that this was sourced from elsewhere. The main reason the story was posted, is for discussion but some people are too sensitive to not get their panties in a bunch. Nothing you’ve said here proves or disproves your stance or the stance of the article.

  • Chelsea March 16, 2012 - 4:03 PM

    What is wrong with IC regardless of what they are donating and not donating is that they exploiting a cause to make themselves easy money to support their film making business, and this rubs people the wrong way. And then the people that they are donating some money to really shouldn’t be getting it…

  • Emi March 16, 2012 - 10:14 PM

    This article was well put. Jake, sure they’re “doing exactly what they said they’re doing” and yes, we’re aware of Kony now, but I feel like we have a right to know where exactly our money is going. IC wouldn’t have made nearly as much money if the donators known only 31% goes to helping others. It isn’t fair. IC is not a scam, but they’re greedy and definitely NOT trustworthy.