Thursday, March 19, 2009

Myth of "Mother" Teresa

From what I have read recently it seems that Mother teresa isnt actually what she is portrayed to be by the media. Apparently the vatican was against her till they realized that they can use her to further their own agenda.

Turns out that the Mission for Charity got a lot of money from Dictators and criminals which she wholeheartedly accepted without giving a second thought to the victims of these opressors!

Considering the courage needed to critique a person who has had a halo built around them Christopher Hitchens deserves just praise for digging deeper into what really constituted Mother Teresa. It is sad to see our new political parties still perpetuating this false story of her saintliness.
Here are some links highlighting the truth of her sainthood.

A review of the book written by Hitchens is given below

"One of the interesting books published in 1995 debunks the myth of Mother Teresa, who has been unjustly built into a near-saint by the media. She has been virtually untouchable as an almost sacred figure. and anyone who dares to criticize her is promptly rebuked.

One of Mother Teresa’s volunteers in Calcutta described her “Home for the Dying” as resembling photos of concentration camps such as Belsen. No chairs, just stretcher beds. Virtually no medical care or painkillers beyond aspirin, and a refusal to take a 15-year-old boy to a hospital.

Hitchens adds, “Bear in mind that Mother Teresa’s global income is more than enough to outfit several first class clinics in Bengal. The decision not to do so... is a deliberate one. The point is not the honest relief of suffering, but the promulgation of a cult based on death and suffering and subjection.”

Then Hitchens notes that Mother Teresa “has checked into some of the finest and costliest clinics and hospitals in the West during her bouts with heart trouble and old age.”

A good video documentray run on the bbc is given below,
(unfortunately I cannot find the remaining two parts)

An interview with Hitchens in which he answers why and how he started researching into Mother Teresa.

"For a long time the church was not quite sure what to do about her. For example, when there was the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s, there was an equivalent meeting for the Catholics of the Indian subcontinent in Bombay. Mother Teresa turned up and said she was absolutely against any reconsideration of doctrine. She said we don't need any new thinking or reflection, what we need is more work and more faith. So she has been recognized as a difficult and dogmatic woman by the Catholics in India for a long time.

I think there were others in the church who suspected she was too ambitious, that she wouldn't accept discipline, that she wanted an order of her own. She was always petitioning to be able to go off and start her own show. Traditionally, the church has tended to suspect that kind of excessive zeal. I think it was an entirely secular breakthrough sponsored by Muggeridge, who wasn't then a Catholic.

So it wasn't the result of the propaganda of the Holy Office. But when the Catholic church realized it had a winner on its hands, it was quick to adopt her. She is a very great favorite of the faithful and a very good advertisement to attract non-believers or non-Catholics. And she's very useful for the current pope as a weapon against reformists and challengers within the church.

As to why those who would normally consider themselves rationalists or skeptics have fallen for the Mother Teresa myth, I think there is an element of post-colonial condescension involved, in that most people have a slightly bad conscience about "the wretched of the Earth" and they are glad to feel that there are those who will take action. Then also there is the general problem of credulity, of people being willing - once a reputation has been established - to judge people's actions by that reputation instead of the reputation by that action. "

"The nun adored by the Vatican ran a network of care homes where cruelty and neglect are routine. Donal MacIntyre gained secret access and witnessed at first hand the suffering of "rescued" orphans

The dormitory held about 30 beds rammed in so close that there was hardly a breath of air between the bare metal frames. Apart from shrines and salutations to "Our Great Mother", the white walls were bare. The torch swept across the faces of children sleeping, screaming, laughing and sobbing, finally resting on the hunched figure of a boy in a white vest. Distressed, he rocked back and forth, his ankle tethered to his cot like a goat in a farmyard. This was the Daya Dan orphanage for children aged six months to 12 years, one of Mother Teresa's flagship homes in Kolkata. It was 7.30 in the evening, and outside the monsoon rains fell unremittingly.

Earlier in the day, young international volunteers had giggled as one told how a young boy had peed on her while strapped to a bed. I had already been told of an older disturbed woman tied to a tree at another Missionaries of Charity home. At the orphanage, few of the volunteers batted an eyelid at disabled children being tied up. They were too intoxicated with the myth of Mother Teresa and drunk on their own philanthropy to see that such treatment of children was inhumane and degrading."

"For too long Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity have been blessing critics, rather than addressing justified and damning condemnations of the serious failings in their care practices."

Clearly Teresa is the second undeserving person (another being Gandhi) who, by the main stream media, has been deliberately created into a saint, who is beyond criticism or doubt thus denying any rational debate on their actual contribution to the movements they appear to represent!

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