Three Cups of Deceit

Thoughts on socialism and leftism generally

Three Cups of Deceit

Postby Gavin » 30 Oct 2012, 10:20

A year ago the Left were filled with joy and righteousness about the story of a westerner who had gone to Pakistan and forged links with that country. It was Greg Mortenson with his book Three Cups of Tea.

Bu then it was alleged, in Three Cups of Deceit, that Mortenson was actually a fraud anyway.

I haven't read either book, but if anyone has please do comment. I dare say there are plenty more links on the web about this. Here's the expose video from 60 Minutes:

This could have gone in the leftist hypocrisy thread, of course, but since it actually seems to be a case of not only hypocrisy but full-blown fraud, I thought I would give it its own. The book certainly earned Mortenson a great deal of money and it continues to receive rave reviews on Amazon, which serves to show yet again how Leftists love to believe what they wish was true, and what makes them feel good and righteous, rather than what is actually true.
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Re: Three Cups of Deceit

Postby Podori » 30 Oct 2012, 17:48

I have not read it and do not want to. What would there be to comment on if I did? The author's piercing fiction?

I am only writing on this topic because it reminds me of the stunt pulled by Tom McMaster, the American man living in Scotland who assumed a phony online identity as a Syrian lesbian and briefly fooled many left-leaning journalists with his fake blog, "Gay Girl in Damascus." It was the same species of fraud as Three Cups of Tea: the left was infatuated with it because it romanticised a backwards foreign culture.
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Re: Three Cups of Deceit

Postby Heather » 30 Oct 2012, 18:28

When I first heard of the book last year, I thought "there is no way this is real." Glad to see I was right.
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Re: Three Cups of Deceit

Postby Andreas » 31 Oct 2012, 00:17

Mortenson’s books more or less fit the “fake memoir” genre Dalrymple dissects in “Spoilt Rotten.” The quick impression one gets from this news video is of a nauseating self-aggrandizement disguised as compassion. He is obviously a clever marketer. His audience is probably mostly politically liberal, but I think there is another element at work here too, a kind of unrealistic naïve orientalism. The story he has made up about himself is not without precedent. It recalls the novel “Lost Horizon” (1933, by James Hilton), the story of Westerners who have an airplane accident in the Himalayas and discover the hidden valley of Shangri-La and a hardly believable Buddhist monastery. “Lost Horizon” was made into a film in the 1930s and more recently, a dreadful musical film in the 1970s. Mortenson does not seem to claim any kind of spiritual enlightenment (plus he was in Muslim rather than Buddhist regions), but the venue is the same.

The same kind of orientalism is probably behind the widespread sympathy for Tibet in the West right now. (Not that Tibet or the Tibetan people don’t deserve sympathy, but the choice of Tibet as an object for Dalrymplean toxic sentimentalism, rather than, say, Namibia is no accident.)
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