Posts Tagged ‘NGO’s’

India (finally) puts Ford Foundation and Greenpeace on watch list

April 25, 2015

The Indian government has put the Ford Foundation and Greenpeace on their “watch” list. It was about time. The Ford Foundation serves as an instrument of the CIA and the US government in prosecuting foreign policy and Greenpeace has degenerated into a home for the far-left and the communists who have been left homeless since the collapse of Marxist (and Maoist) ideologies.

NGOs, “not for profit” organisations and charities often take advantage of the misperception of an implied objectivity or impartiality or of being apolitical. A very few such organisations may come close to being so but the vast majority exist to promote a particular view or support a particular group of people or to carry out particular kinds of projects. In every instance they are deeply – and inevitably – political. Nothing wrong with that of course but it is a common misperception to think that being non-profit they are somehow above politics. They are sometimes funded by governments, sometimes used by governments and sometimes used by opposition to governments. They are sometimes used as a cover for espionage (industrial and by states) and sometimes to “promote democracy” by undermining some other view. They sometimes provide much needed education and health care. And sometimes they use education or health services as a cover for carrying out political or religious indoctrination. Madrasas funded from Saudi Arabia as being educational are purely religious and political. The ostensible reason for the existence of the organisation is often used to cloak a hidden agenda. So-called charity workers and others in the field may not even be aware of the hidden agenda they are promoting.

In most cases these organisations enjoy tax breaks. When they receive government funding it is often to enable governments to covertly act in a manner they can not as a government. They are sometimes used for money laundering and sometimes are just a scam for extracting funds from donors. Even so-called charities may actually donate to others less than 10% of the money they raise. Sometimes they do good and often they don’t.

But the bottom line is that they are all – without exception – political. The political standpoint may be implicit or it may be explicit but it is always there. There is no “human rights” charity or NGO which does not have a political agenda. There is no “centre for democracy” which does not have some political agenda which – perforce – is in conflict with the prevailing “authority” or “government”. ISIS, after all, would qualify as a “not for profit” NGO. There is no “wildlife protection” NGO which does not promote a political agenda which may be as simple as preventing poor farmers from clearing forests to grow more crops, or the development of a highway.

I have no doubt that some NGOs – and usually those without the backing of Big Funds – bring attention to and take action in areas that are desperately necessary but which fall between the cracks of government or public policy. But when an NGO is funded by the Ford Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I am automatically suspicious about the hidden agenda in that organisation’s objectives.

Many organisations – Greenpeace, the WWF and the FoE as examples – which once had some worthy aims and even did some good work have -since 1991 – been hijacked by the far-left and communists who had no place else to go. In India it is not surprising that the Maoists and the Naxals and other “dissenting and seditious” groups have become the beneficiaries of such NGOs. During my time in the Indian corporate world (2000 -2007) I met with many NGOs seeking corporate funds – but I was not too impressed. Even less so when I found that at remote sites where we were executing projects, the protection money (sometimes even ransom money for our engineers) being demanded by local mafiosos were to be channeled through some ostensibly do-gooding NGO.

The Ford Foundation has for long been used and is still used by the CIA (and the US government) as a vehicle for promoting US policy.

Global Research: The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source. From the early 1950s to the present the CIA’s intrusion into the foundation field was and is huge. A U.S. Congressional investigation in 1976 revealed that nearly 50% of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA (Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, Frances Stonor Saunders, Granta Books, 1999, pp. 134-135). The CIA considers foundations such as Ford “The best and most plausible kind of funding cover” (Ibid, p. 135). The collaboration of respectable and prestigious foundations, according to one former CIA operative, allowed the Agency to fund “a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses and other private institutions” (p. 135). The latter included “human rights” groups beginning in the 1950s to the present. One of the most important “private foundations” collaborating with the CIA over a significant span of time in major projects in the cultural Cold War is the Ford Foundation.

….. History and contemporary experience tells us a different story. At a time when government over-funding of cultural activities by Washington is suspect, the FF fulfills a very important role in projecting U.S. cultural policies as an apparently “private” non-political philanthropic organization. The ties between the top officials of the FF and the U.S. government are explicit and continuing. A review of recently funded projects reveals that the FF has never funded any major project that contravenes U.S. policy.

So I was not too surprised to read that the Ford Foundation and Greenpeace India have been put on the Indian government’s watch list.  My surprise is that the Ford Foundation with its CIA connections has been allowed to fund – albeit indirectly – dissension and sedition within India for so long.

Zee News (PTI): The United States on Friday expressed concern over India’s crackdown on Ford Foundation and Greenpeace, and said it is seeking “clarification” on the action.

“We are aware that the (Indian) Ministry of Home Affairs suspended the registration of Greenpeace India and has placed the Ford Foundation on a prior permission watch list,” State Department Deputy Acting Spokesperson, Marie Harf, told reporters at her daily news conference.

“We remain concerned about the difficulties caused to civil society organisations by the manner in which the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act has been applied,” she said in response to a question.

“We are concerned that this recent ruling limits the necessary and critical debate within Indian society and we are seeking a clarification on this issue with the appropriate Indian authorities,” Harf said.

In a crackdown on foreign funding to NGOs, the Union Home Ministry has put the Ford Foundation of the US on its “watch list” and ordered that all funds coming from the international organisation have to be routed only with its nod due to “national security concerns”.

The Home Ministry said it has decided to keep a watch on all activities funded by Ford Foundation and by exercising the powers conferred under Section 46 of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010, directed Reserve Bank of India to ensure that funds coming from it be brought to the notice of the Home Ministry.

The Ministry said it wanted to ensure that funds coming from Ford Foundation is utilised for “bonafide welfare activities without compromising on concerns of national interest and security”.

The move came after Gujarat government asked the Home Ministry to take action against Ford Foundation as it alleged that the US-based organisation was “interfering in the internal affairs” of the country and also “abetting communal disharmony” through an NGO run by social activist Teesta Setalvad.

Early this month, the Home Ministry had frozen seven bank accounts of Greenpeace India and barred it from receiving foreign funds for allegedly violating FCRA and “prejudicially” affecting the country’s public and economic interests.

Non-profit does not mean non-partisan or apolitical.

For me NGOs is a dirty word.

For charities, charity begins at home

August 7, 2013

There are very few charities and NGO’s that command my unquestioning admiration. There are many where the stated objectives are something I would like to support. But in most cases their objectives do not withstand too much scrutiny. And whenever I try to do some background checks I end up finding that a political agenda lies behind the apparently worthy objective. Distortion of data to suit a political “cause” is all too common. In some cases they have merely become advocacy groups where their ends justify their means. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the World Wildlife Fund – for many of their projects – have embraced coercion and are no longer trustworthy. Even the main stream organisations like the Red Cross in Sweden or Save the Children – for example – have had their share of scandals and cases of embezzlement of funds.

I am always amazed at how little of what is contributed by the general public ends up being disbursed on the ground. There are people with “sticky fingers” at every step of the “charity money trail”.

This in the Guardian only goes to support my view that many of the so-called charities have become organisations where the primary goal is to take care of their own. Once upon a time a charity-worker was one who commanded some admiration for his care for those in need.. No longer. For charities and many NGO’s, top executives – and staff in general – get salaries at such high levels that it can no longer be assumed that altruism plays any part.

Even with charities it seems that Greed – not Altruism – is the name of the game.

Leading charities have defended the income of their chief executives after research revealed that the number receiving six-figure salaries at Britain’s 14 biggest foreign aid charities has risen by nearly 60%, from 19 to 30, over the past three years.

The number of staff on salaries of more than £60,000 at charities – which form the 50-year-old Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and co-ordinate disaster relief during global emergencies – increased by 16%, to 192, between 2010 and 2012, the Daily Telegraph reported. Eleven of the executives were paid more than the prime minister’s salary of £142,500 a year in 2013, while some senior staff at some charities had pay rises despite falling revenues and donations.

William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission, said trustees of the charities should assess pay to judge if it is appropriate. “It is not for the commission to tell charities how much they should pay their executives. That is a matter for their trustees,” he told the newspaper. “However, in these difficult times, when many charities are experiencing shortfalls, trustees should consider whether very high salaries are really appropriate, and fair to both the donors and the taxpayers who fund charities. Disproportionate salaries risk bringing organisations and the wider charitable world into disrepute.”

…. The top earners whose pay increased included Sir Nicholas Young, the chief executive of the British Red Cross, who has received a 12% pay rise to £184,000 since 2010, despite a 1% fall in donations and a 3% fall in revenues.

Justin Forsyth, the chief executive of Save the Children, received £163,000 last year, while Anabel Hoult, its chief operating officer, was paid £168,653. Revenue at the charity has fallen by 3% since 2010, although donations are significantly up. A Save the Children spokesman said the charity paid competitive wages benchmarked against two external salary surveys. “We want to save more children’s lives. We can’t – and shouldn’t – compete with salaries in the private sector, but we need to pay enough to ensure we get the best people to help our work to stop children dying needless deaths.”

The salary of Chris Bain, the director of the Catholic aid charity Cafod, increased by 9% between 2010 and 2012, from £80,000 to £87,000. Over the same period donations and revenue rose 16% and 24% respectively. A Cafod spokesman said its director’s pay “remains much lower than any of his counterparts in the biggest non-governmental organisations, and has only risen in recent years in line with the increase for other Cafod members of staff”.

Richard Miller, the director at ActionAid, saw his pay rise by 8% to nearly £89,000 a year, while revenues and donations fell by 11%. Janet Convery, ActionAid’s director of communications, said: “Richard Miller’s salary is well below the market rate for a chief executive of a major development charity.”

The top paid executive at Christian Aid was Loretta Minghella, a former chief executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, who was paid £126,072 this year, up from £119,123 in 2011. A Christian Aid spokesman said the charity had a “strict policy that requires us to set salaries at or below the median of other church-based and/or international development agencies”.

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