5 Beloved Groups Everyone Forgot Did Terrible Things
It can be easier to look up to righteous organizations than righteous people, because people are still, well, people. Like, Mother Theresa neglected patients and Gandhi creeped on his niece, but a nice charity trying to cure cancer or an NGO that helps refugees from war-torn nations? How could they possibly do any wrong?
Oh boy, you know where this is going ...
Watch Out, Or The Susan G. Komen Foundation Will Sue The Crap Out Of You
A lot of people say that they hate cancer, but the Susan G. Komen foundation puts their (and your) money where their mouth is. It all started when Nancy Goodman Brinker's sister, Susan, died of breast cancer in 1980. Like a Steven Seagal character, Nancy promised her fallen sibling that she'd do everything to get the bastard that killed her. And she has. By 1982, the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" organization was on its feet, and had been awarded its first $28,000 research grant. So far to date, a whopping $2 billion have gone into cancer-fighting things like research and advocacy.
That's ... that's a lot of cancer-fightin' money. Surely, every penny has gone to the greater good.
Well, not so much. It turns out that some of that pocket change you handed over goes to making sure that mom and pop charities don't use the word "cure," or even the freaking color pink. Real, actual money that could be used to help fund research instead goes directly into the pockets of lawyers (both for Komen and for the Joe Shmoes being sued). How dare Mary Ann Tighe of Long Island run a kite-flying event to fund lung cancer research and call it "Kites for the Cure"? Or the other 80-odd organizations that used the word "cure" or the color pink in some form?
The good news is that sometimes Komen's lawyers fail, and organizations like "Mush for a Cure" are able to fight back and keep their names. Michael N. Mercanti, a lawyer who represented this small charity operation, said, "They shouldn't be spending money on lawyers when people give their donations to find cures for breast cancer." He's got a point. We have a feeling that a lot fewer people would donate at the supermarket if the cashier said, "Would you like to give 8 cents for some petty bullshit?"
Doctors Without Borders Will Save You From ISIS (Unless You Don't Officially Work For Them)
Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders for us dirty English speakers, is about as close to the Justice League as you can get without superpowers. They're funded with 1.63 billion buckaroos per year -- so really, it's a Justice League of Bruce Waynes, but better, because they're not working through severe psychological trauma by beating the shit out of people. They even limit their funding from governments so their decision-making can't be influenced by corrupt politicians, fer goshsakes. Well, light a candle and prepare yourselves, because it's about to get dark.
Kayla Mueller joined her boyfriend in Syria to help install equipment at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. In doing so, this incredibly brave woman paid a horrific price. She was kidnapped by ISIS, raped, and ultimately murdered 18 months after being taken. What's unimaginably worse is that during that time, she had to watch other women be freed after DWB negotiated for their release. But since Mueller was not technically a Doctors Without Conscie- sorry, Borders employee, they refused to negotiate for her, and left her to die. Even after being sent an email from her captors specifically for discussing saving Mueller's life, DWB's executive United States director Jason Cone said, "I don't think there was a moral responsibility. We can't be in the position of negotiating for people who don't work for us." Yeah, what are they, Doctors Without Borders or something?
So you have the world's most notorious murderous assholes actively trying to not kill someone, and the league of Batmans basically said, "Nope, not our problem. Go ahead and kill her. We'll take the ones who have been physically right there next to her in the same room, though. Go, us." Amazingly, Kayla's parents found it in themselves to come to peace with Dickwads Without Borders, eventually donating $120,000 to the group. "It is difficult, but ultimately this endowment is going to do what Kayla wanted done," her father said. That's a level of grace 99 percent of us would barely be able to fathom.
NASA Conducted A Sting Operation On An Elderly Widow, Causing Her To Pee Herself
Who doesn't love space and the brave folks who boldly go, and so forth? From the scientists, mathematicians, and engineers behind the spacecraft to the actual astronauts themselves, it takes a lot of extremely rad people to bring what was once science fiction into reality. Surely, all of the time and resources poured into making these things happen are well-spent, and the planet's smartest people wouldn't do something as '80s villain as bullying an old woman until she pees herself in a sting operation!
Wait, what was this entry about? Oh, dammit.
As you might have gathered, this is what happened to Joann Davis, widower of Apollo 11 engineer Robert Davis. According to Davis, her husband had been gifted a grain-sized piece of moon rock and a piece of the Apollo 11 heat shield by Neil Armstrong. These items stayed in the family for decades. Unfortunately, tragedy repeatedly struck Mrs. Davis. After the death of her daughter and the diagnosis of an illness in her son that would require 20 surgeries, the 75-year-old woman was struggling to find a way to support herself, said son, and her several grandchildren. If only she had, like, a valuable moon rock and a piece of a famous spacecraft laying around the house ...
And so Davis did what any law-abiding citizen would do: She contacted NASA directly to see if they could help her sell these artifacts in a legal manner, thus allowing her to care for her family (or at least not go too horribly into debt). Only, instead of helping her out, NASA immediately assumed she was some kind of space criminal trying to illegally sell these things. Why they thought a person directly contacting the very people a criminal would want to hide from was trying to pull one over on them, we'll never know. In any case, they set up a meeting with Davis and her husband (Davis had since remarried) at a Denny's (because of course). Once officials saw the tiny rice-sized moon rock, they seized it, grabbed her husband's wrist, bent him over the table, and proceeded to lead her out to the parking lot for a two-hour interrogation.
Oh, and they wouldn't let her use the bathroom. She told them she needed to pee as they were leading her out, and when her request for human dignity went unanswered, she was forced to urinate in her pants, and she spent the entire hours-long interrogation soaked in her own filth. Her lawsuit against them is still ongoing. For love of all that's good and holy, please go back to space, NASA. You're getting cabin fever here on Earth.
Nobel Prize Judges Allowed A Doctor To Conduct Fatal Experiments
Receiving a Nobel Prize for anything at all ranks somewhere between "the most rad thing you can accomplish in a single lifetime" and, if you're Marie Curie, "Another one?" It pretty much ensures that your name is immortalized and everyone has to admit you're a non-garbage-person. So we expect that the judges who determine who gets one of the most prestigious awards on the planet will know what they're doing, and also not let fatal human experiments happen right under their noses.
Cue the sad trombone, because obviously that's exactly what happened. Paolo Macchiarini was, for years, the star surgeon working under the Karolinska Institute, the judges for the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Charming, handsome, and apparently brilliant, he was allowed to perform experiments with replacing people's windpipes beginning in 2008 -- first with plastic windpipes, and then with the stem cells of windpipes taken from dead people. Macchiarini had created a revolutionary new procedure which he believed would change medical science forever. The only tiny little downside was that most of his lucky windpipe recipients kept dying, because fucking duh, of course they did.
The Swedish government eventually caught on and investigated this horrible series of events, and found that the Karolinska Institute had really dropped the ball here. For one, they'd somehow missed that the initial credentials the dude had turned in were "questionable" and also "false," and when other doctors raised concerns about working with a legit mad scientist, they were ignored. Macchiarini was eventually fired, the board for the Karolinska Institute was dismissed, and nothing terrible and negligent will ever happen again just because a dude is charming and handsome, the end.
The Girl Scouts Don't Care About Ape Murder
There isn't much in the world more wholesome than a troupe of Girl Scouts going door-to-door selling their delicious, addicting, paycheck-destroying cookies. As if the cookies weren't enough, they do a lot of good for the world in their work. They accept LGBT youth, they recently joined with Google's program Made With Code to teach girls to do rad computer things, they added 23 badges for STEM exploration, and there's also a badge for Metal Arts, which sounds, you know ... metal.
It's too bad that this wholesome organization not only has an empty garden of fucks to give about the brutalization and murder of orangutans, but also knowingly contributes to it.
In 2006, Girl Scouters Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen discovered that their cookies contain palm oil. For those not in the know, palm oil comes from farmers demolishing rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia in order to plant their palm trees. While destroying the habitat of many species is bad enough, orangutans get hit the hardest. They're being burned and buried alive, beaten to death, and hacked to pieces with machetes -- the most intelligent of the apes are being given some extremely good reasons to rise up and reenact Planet Of The Apes. And you know what, we'd let them. We are awful.
So what did Girl Scout executives do when these girls presented the issue to them? Silence them, of course. They deleted Facebook posts, turned off the ability for people to share links, and had one conference call in 2008 which has not been followed up on since. Their official response: "Our bakers don't believe that there is a viable alternative to produce the taste, the quality, all of the attributes which our consumers and our members require and expect out of our cookies." It's simply not the same without the pain and misery behind them, you know?
So there you have it. Girl Scout officials think the brutalization and murder of our closest kin is justified as long as their cookies remain as tasty as always. Enjoy your Thin Mints and Do-Si-Dos, folks. Surely the remains of buried and forgotten apes have not at all seeped into the palm trees that supply a key ingredient in them, and their angry spirits are definitely not haunting your bowels.
Just in case you got a Thin Mint fix right now, we've got your back.
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