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I Want You to Fail -- Writer's Poke #290

60 Minutes did a piece yesterday on Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea fame, accusing him of fraud.

Mortensen's Central Asia Institute (CAI) has claimed to have built hundreds of schools, primarily for girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the past decade. But 60 Minutes asserts that much of what Mortensen has described in his books were exaggerations or lies. And, that even that school which were built were 1) not built by CAI, 2) not maintained, 3) not supported, or 4) not used after a short period of time, or at all.

Less than a day after the airing of the story, some people have already made up their minds that Mortensen is a fraud. On, for example, Three Cups of Tea started receiving a number of one-star reviews, even though Mortensen and CAI has had little time to defend themselves against the accusations.

Whether Mortensen is "guilty" or not, some have already decided that he is, and it will be difficult for him to ever get back his good name. It seems that people are ready, and almost eager, to find out that a "hero" is a fraud. But why? What do we gain from losing the power of belief in the good work that humans are capable of?

How quick are you to judge others? Do you assume that others are frauds, and that some just haven't been exposed yet?

"Perhaps that suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor." -- C. S. Forester


  1. Haven't visited your blog in a while. Pretty. Shiny.

    I'm not terribly deep. (:


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