CBS’ 60 Minutes hevder at det er mye som ikke stemmer i Greg Mortensons bestselger Three cups of tea. Det står heller ikke så bra til med skolene som hans organisasjon hevder å ha bygget i Pakistan og Afghanistan.
Mortenson er hjemme for hjerteoperasjon, og ikke tilgjengelig for kommentarer, men har gitt et intervju der han sier at hendelser ble komprimert og forkortet for å bli mer lettleste. Det ble gjort av hans medforfatter David Oliver Relin.
Så er spørsmålet, hvor mye slingringsmonn man kan gi en historie før den begynner å tære på leserens tillit.
Jon Krakauer har skrevet et 75 sider langt kritisk essay om Mortenson og hans veldedighetsorganisasjon.
Among the questions is what Mortenson calls the turning point in his life: how in 1993 he failed in an attempt to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second-highest peak, got lost and stumbled into Korphe, a small Pakistani village where he was nursed back to health.
By his account, a young girl in the village asked, “Can you help us build a school?” He says he promised to do so, which led to a charity that has raised $60 million.
But 60 Minutes reported that two porters who accompanied Mortenson say he never stumbled into Korphe lost and alone and didn’t visit the village until a year later.
Krakauer told 60 Minutes that Mortenson’s account is “a beautiful story, and it’s a lie. … I have spoken to one of his companions, a close friend, who hiked out from K2 with him, and this companion said Greg never heard of Korphe till a year later.“
Mortenson disputes that, while acknowledging the book “compressed” events to simplify the storytelling. He told Outside that Relin “did nearly all the writing,” and that “in order to be convenient, there were some omissions and compressions.“
Kritikken gjelder også skolene som er bygget. Hvis det stemmer at ikke resultatene er så strålende, er det mer bekymringsfullt.
60 Minutes noted that Mortenson’s charity reports that it has built or supported 141 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but visits to 30 of them found “roughly half were empty, built by someone else, or not receiving support at all.“
On his website, Mortenson says he “was amazed to see how incredibly well everything is going” in Afghanistan and plans to build more than 60 schools this year.
Boken Thre cups… utkom i 2009 og solgte 4 millioner eksemplarer. Den er også utkommet på norsk.