Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

  1. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I recently came across a book entitled Three Cups of Tea. It's a story about an American who is bound and determined to change the world in a positive way. He runs a program of which I plan to support.

    Greg Mortenson (bio as of August 2008)

    On July 24th, 1992, while Greg was on a climb in the, his youngest sister, Christa, died from a massive seizure after a lifelong struggle with epilepsy on the eve of a trip to visit Dysersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie, ‘Field of Dreams’, was filmed in a cornfield.

    In 1993, to honor his sister’s memory, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain in the Karakoram range.

    Greg made to within 600 m of the summit, but had to give up. Meanwhile another climber experienced pulmonary edema, and Greg and another climber were tasked to get him down to a lower elevation where he could be rescued by helicopter. After the rescue, Greg decided to head home, but on the way back to civilzation, Greg got lost on the Baltoro glacier. He eventually found a small village, Korphe, where the village head took him in.

    One day while recuperating in Korphe, Mortenson encountered a group of children sitting in the dirt, writing with sticks in the sand, and he made a promise to help them build a school. From that rash promise, grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    As of 2008, Mortenson has established over 78 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 28,000 children, including 18,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before. - Journey of Hope;id=10946

    Another Way To Stop Terrorism

    Hope is an emotional state, a belief in a positive outcome even in the face of contrary evidence.
    Hope often opposes despair, such as a village plagued by poverty that invests in a school.
    - Karin Ronnow

    For those wanting to make a positive difference in the world, Greg Mortenson is a stellar example.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. I have heard of Penny's for Peace, but really had no idea of its founder, or the ordeals he went through. I am very impressed with all he has accomplished.
    His website has some great photos.
  4. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Mortenson addressed the Commonwealth Club on Sept. 24 earlier this year.

    There is another literacy program in Pakistan - Developments in Literacy (DIL). - but it serves areas south of the Northern Areas where Mortenson's program focuses its efforts. has some very interesting programs.
  5. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

  6. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm hoping that Greg Mortenson wins the Nobel Peace prize this year for his work education and womens' programs in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. He should have won last year or in 2007. He has certainly done more than those two recipients. :grumpy:
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Greg Mortenson is being accused of fraud. 60 minutes is doing an expose of him sunday night.
  8. lisab

    lisab 3,188
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    Oh this makes me so sad and disappointed, if it turns out to be true!
  9. marcus

    marcus 24,236
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    I suppose nothing is really settled yet and there still could be surprises, but let's assume the accusations turn out to be true.
    I would still feel some admiration and even (if you can believe it) thankfulness that we have a hero-stereotype floating around who is "peace corp" instead of a military and secular instead of saintly.

    I think it's not unusual for a recognized hero to be partly the creation of that person's own imagination.

    I think of TE Lawrence, whose inspiring example was in part a literary construction---even if he acted out every scene he describes he was still consciously inventing himself as an inspiring figure: a hero.

    I have no idea whether Lawrence, say, or Che Guevara, was partly bogus or completely authentic, but I like this guy that Greg Mortensen made up and tried to be. I like that guy BETTER than those warrior heros. Because I'm fed up with warrior heros.

    So I say good luck to Mortensen and it was a good try and if it turns out to have been partly fake, well I hope he doesn't suffer dire consequences or feel too bad about it. Hopefully he hasn't done anything worse than what they already accuse him of.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  10. Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    We might run into purely speculative discussion so I will wait for the things to unfold before I question about the donations he received. There have been some concerns that most of the money/donations/resources going into Afghanistan are not properly utilized (I linked a report in some thread here).
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    Just watched 60 minutes, what they said is true, from what they showed and interviews with the people where the supposed schools are.

    Mortenson refused to talk to 60 minutes, so they showed up at a hotel where he was scheduled to give a talk, and he called hotel security on them, 60 minutes was told to wait in the lobby for him or one of his aids. Instead Mortenson canceled his talk and snuck out of the back of the hotel. Oh yeah, he's legit. :uhh:

    They said that even though he hasn't done what he's claimed, at least his talks have brought awareness of the problems in those countries, (and big bucks in his pockets, no doubt).
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    I heard about it last night. I'm really bummed about this.

    It's not clear what he has or has not done - so I'm reserving judgement until I see the 60 Minutes program and read statements by Mortenson and others.

    Statement attributed to Jon Krakauer by CBS

    Mortenson does look well fed, and he does seem to travel a lot in the US. :frown:

    I find it a bit disconcerting that 'over the years', staff members and board members have resigned over concerns that Mortenson has misused funds ostensibly for his personal benefit, as opposed to direct support to the charity.

    And this only comes out now.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  13. Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    I also doubt the likelihood of someone coming out of Afghanistan alive after opening 78 schools. This statement should have been questioned two years ago when he published his book:

    Attacks Statistics (I couldn't find anything for recent years):


    I would provide credit to the military presence which is providing secure environment to carry out these reforms.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  14. lisab

    lisab 3,188
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Fraud: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time

    I wonder if the Nobel Committee had some inkling of this...meh, who knows. Pure speculation.
  15. BBC report:

  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Anyone interested might want to take advantage of a free download, it's only available for 72 hours. Today is the last day.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Similar discussions for: Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea & One Village at a Time