The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. The paper will be published in the March issue of the journalStudies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.
20th Century of lies and deceit….
As long term readers know well, I’m of the firm belief that the 20th century was the century of lies.
It is the century in which Maya (illusion) came into it’s own. Humanity at large was led around by their collective noses into a general milieu of war, destruction, self-loathing and abject confusion about our real place in this universe.
While deeply (and always) compromised media was the megaphone, the bait used to lure the masses was a series of caricatures built into living messianic characters. Count amongst them Gandhi, Mandela, MLK, Einstein, FDR, various sporting heroes, the modern art movement with all of it’s attendant weird characters (Picasso and Warhol come to mind), all of the Jewish authors/nobel laureates…..on and on and on and on.
One after the other, these heroes (and heroines) were all clay footed, deeply flawed constructs.
Yet, as Sickmund Frued and his famous nephew Eddy Bernays laid the groundwork of modern dystopia, a technologically shaken, constantly re-training, busier global population mostly swallowed the hook, line and sinker.
Since these false giants are so deeply engrained in the global psyche, perhaps it’s time to pour some water on these clay-footed denizens, so we may be free….
Today’s take down, courtesy of two psychologists in Montreal:
At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.
Despite these disturbing facts, how did Mother Teresa succeed in building an image of holiness and infinite goodness? According to the three researchers, her meeting in London in 1968 with the BBC’s Malcom Muggeridge, an anti-abortion journalist who shared her right-wing Catholic values, was crucial. Muggeridge decided to promote Teresa, who consequently discovered the power of mass media. In 1969, he made a eulogistic film of the missionary, promoting her by attributing to her the “first photographic miracle,” when it should have been attributed to the new film stock being marketed by Kodak. Afterwards, Mother Teresa travelled throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: “I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing—direct murder by the mother herself.”