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Mother Teresa: The Eichmann of Calcutta



In  The Missionary Position – Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Christopher Hitchens advises one to judge “Mother Teresa’s reputation by her actions and words rather than her actions and words by her reputation.” The RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat followed that advice to conclude that proselytism to Christianity was the motive behind Teresa’s work. He was effectively echoing Hitchens’ statement, “Mother Teresa has never pretended that her work is anything but a fundamentalist religious campaign.”


Teresa’s indignant admirers have responded to Bhagwat’s statement with vitriol. Has Bhagwat unreasonably cast aspersion on an altruistic saint or could he have reasonably arrived at an even more damning conclusion? Let us turn to Teresa’s own words and deeds for an answer.

Mary Loudon volunteered at Teresa’s much hyped Home for the Dying. She testifies that terminally ill cancer patients were only given aspirin to cope with their pain. She also points out that the nuns used unsterilized syringes on the defenceless patients. It must be remarked that Teresa’s order never used unsterilized syringes on any white patient anywhere in the world. It was as if the Indian poor did not count as humans. This is way beyond racism. Loudon also recounts the case of a fifteen year-old boy who was suffering from a simple kidney infection. Teresa’s order refused to give him antibiotics. As a result, his condition worsened resulting in renal failure. The boy could still have been taken to a hospital to save his life. However, Teresa’s order refused to do so because “if they do it for one, they have to do it for everybody.” But why not do it for everybody?

Here, one must understand that alleviating suffering never was Teresa’s motive; prolonging the suffering was. Teresa derived pleasure from the unnecessary agony and suffering of the defenceless. She once perversely told an interviewer, “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot…I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”

True to her words, she did everything within her capacity to usher in and prolong the suffering of the defenceless poor. Robin Fox, editor of the prestigious medical journal Lancet, visited her so-called medical facility in Calcutta in 1994. He was shocked to see that patients with malaria were callously given paracetamol even though a diagnosing physician had prescribed chloroquine. Teresa preferred to repose faith in providence to administering necessary medical treatment.

Teresa ran her order like an autocrat. Even if the nuns had been empathetic, they couldn’t have taken a stance against Teresa’s inhuman insistence.

The prescription to repose faith in providence by shunning proper medical care was only applicable so long as the patient was someone else. However, when Teresa was diagnosed with malaria, she opted to receive a modern medical treatment from New Delhi’s acclaimed All India Institute of Medical Sciences instead of reposing her faith in providence to heal her. She also received an expensive treatment from a hospital abroad when she fell ill with pneumonia.

Teresa was once asked how people without money or power can make the world a better place. She callously replied, “They should smile more.” In 1984, wilful negligence on the part of the management of Union Carbide resulted in the death of 2,500 residents of Bhopal. Thousands more were maimed for life. Teresa flew into Bhopal in the aftermath of the tragedy. She didn’t utter a word censuring Union Carbide or expressing solidarity with the victims. She did not offer a rupee to victim relief. Instead, she grotesquely urged the victims, “Forgive, forgive, forgive.”


Elgy Gillespie points out that at a hospice supposedly to care for AIDS patients which Teresa ran in San Francisco, terminally ill patients with chronic pain were denied morphine. Desperate patients would try to escape the hospice and seek refuge elsewhere. Susan Shields, who worked for Teresa for nearly a decade, also testifies to the appalling treatment of the defenceless at Teresa’s facilities. Shields was disturbed that the “poor were the ones who suffered” as a result of Teresa’s “self-righteous adherence to poverty.”

There was no dearth of money in the order though. Teresa received hundreds of millions of dollars in donation. Her unsuspecting donors thought she was using it to alleviate pain and suffering among the poor. However, Teresa saw it differently. She considered the flood of donations to be a sign of god’s approval of her efforts and of her congregation. So, the money was never used for the advertised purpose of helping the poor. It simply accumulated in the bank accounts of the Catholic Church. Shields points out that $ 50 million had collected in a single checking account in the Bronx.

Teresa’s utter lack of empathy for the suffering of the destitute people manifests in her strenuous appeal to the victims of the 1971 Bangladesh war and genocide of Hindus. In that unfortunate war, thousands of women were raped and impregnated. Teresa appealed to the victims not to abort the seed of the rapist; either raise them or give them up for adoption. Teresa didn’t utilize the millions of dollars her organization had amassed to help those women but she grotesquely lectured those victims of rape without any regard for their dilemma.

Teresa’s worldview too was warped by the morbid ideology of Christianity which convinced her that Jesus manifests himself in the suffering of the defenceless. As a result, she did not see the pitiable, mentally-ill, child victim of rape or a terminally ill cancer patient as a human being. Instead, they were merely instruments to advertise the presence of Jesus through grotesque suffering.

A house surgeon in a Calcutta medical college recounts (vide Facebook on 23 February, 2015) that the nuns of Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity would bring “pregnant girls aged 12-16 for deliveries in our labour room…when asked why not get the girls aborted the nuns would tell they’re just helping the destitute and the children will go to orphanage and that abortion is not allowed in their faith. And this was a regular feature in our hospital.”

If a girl aged 12-16 is pregnant and if she is destitute, one can be almost certain that she was raped. She could’ve contracted diseases which she could pass on to the fetus. She may even be mentally ill. One must be entirely lacking in empathy to insist that such a girl go through with her pregnancy and deliver the child. However, Teresa ran her order like an autocrat. Even if the nuns had been empathetic, they couldn’t have taken a stance against Teresa’s inhuman insistence. Shields points out that “total obedience to (Teresa’s) dictates is enforced at every level…questioning of authority is not an option.” As a result, many a child victim of rape was forced to go through a painful pregnancy and to give birth to another child.

Now, see these facts in light of how Teresa viewed herself. She once claimed, “If I ever become a saint, I will surely be one of darkness. I will continually be absent from heaven to light the light of those in darkness on earth.” She further wrote that poverty was the means by which to be united with Jesus. She had three prescriptions, “absolute poverty,” “angelic chastity,” and “cheerful obedience in the face of suffering” by which one would be united with Jesus. This is why she was attracted to poverty. This is why she was motivated to usher in suffering and exacerbate it – especially in others. This is what induced her to say that the suffering people should display a cheerful countenance. The thought of alleviating suffering and poverty didn’t even cross her mind. Without exacerbating poverty and suffering – in others, how could she be united with Jesus and become a saint? (See Kolodiejchuk, Brian: Mother Teresa – Come be My Light – The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta”)

As much as Teresa was attracted to suffering – to exacerbate it and not to alleviate it, she was also attracted to ruthless dictators and frauds that made the poor suffer. She showered lavish praise on them and attempted to legitimize them in the eyes of their citizenry. One may invoke the example of the lavish praise she showered on the ruthless, plundering dictator of Haiti, Duvalier by brazenly announcing that the dictator is “a person who knows, who wants to prove his love not only by words but also by concrete and tangible actions.” She also appealed on behalf of the scam-artist Charles Keating, who had looted the life savings of thousands of individuals. She wrote the judge a letter urging that he show Keating leniency. Both Duvalier and Keating had donated large sums to Teresa’s order.

duvalier  keating

The academics Serge Larivée and Carole Sénéchal carried out meticulous research on Teresa. They point out that millions of dollars were transferred to the various bank accounts of Teresa’s order but most of the accounts were kept secret. Larivée wonders where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone. The possibility that her order maintained secret bank accounts to launder the ill-gotten wealth of the crooks is yet to be investigated. At the minimum, to amass wealth in the name of alleviating the suffering of the poor and to stash it away in secret bank accounts is a crime in itself. It is also a highly immoral act when one considers the fact that the resources of this planet are finite and that there is only so much one could spend on alleviating suffering. When the money donated for such purpose is stashed away, the poor are denied medical care and other life-sustaining necessities.

Bhagwat can only be faulted for conceding the possibility that Teresa did charitable works albeit with the motive to proselytize. In Mother Teresa – The Final Verdict, Aroup Chatterjee has meticulously demolished the myths of Teresa’s charitable works. The hype and propaganda surrounding her charitable deeds doesn’t match the ground reality. While Bhagwat correctly concludes that Teresa’s motive was to proselytize he unwarrantedly assumes that she did any good work to alleviate suffering. She did not. She ushered in suffering whenever she could. She took precious money in the name of the suffering people and stashed it away in the secret accounts of the Vatican. She exacerbated suffering whenever she found it, e.g., by denying medication to the terminally ill cancer patients, forcing child victims of rape to give birth to children. Those were not charitable deeds. Those were horrific crimes against humanity.

The reader may be wondering why the title of this article equates Teresa with Eichmann. Adolf Eichmannmanaged the deportation and the holocaust of six million Jews under the Third Reich. After the fall of the Third Reich, he escaped, with the help of the infamous Ratline run by the Vatican, to Argentina, where he lived in disguise. However, by 1960, Eichmann had run out of his luck. The Israeli secret service tracked him down and captured him in a daring raid immortalized in the 1979 movie, The House on Garibaldi Street.

In his deposition, Eichmann showed no remorse. Instead, he claimed that he was being merciful to the exterminated Jews by sending them to the gas chambers. He even insisted that he was doing his best to comfort them by having the band play music and by distributing chocolates to the children while they awaited their turn at the gas chambers. He was entirely apathetic to their suffering and to the fact that he had brought it upon them. Eichmann did not see his Jewish victims as human beings at all. They were merely dispensable instruments in his journey to fame. The Nazi ideology which Eichmann had internalized had warped his view of reality. In his warped worldview, he was working toward a higher cause; he was serving a noble purpose by sending the Jews to the gas chambers. He single-mindedly aspired for glory. His only disappointment was that he was only made a lieutenant colonel and not something higher for the services he had rendered.


Let us now turn to Teresa. Just as Eichmann had brought about the holocaust, she too, wilfully brought about the death and untold suffering of many a poor by siphoning off funds meant for the alleviation of suffering and by cruelly denying them necessary medication. She never saw them as human beings and extended them no empathy whatsoever. She taught the nuns of her order to secretly baptize them as they lay dying. The nun was to pretend “she was just cooling the person’s forehead with a wet cloth, while in fact she was baptizing him, saying quietly the necessary words. Secrecy was important so that it would not come to be known that Mother Teresa’s sisters were baptizing Hindus and Moslems.” Those dying persons were only fit for one thing: to be baptized by a single-minded aspirant for saintly fame.

Teresa’s worldview too was warped by the morbid ideology of Christianity which convinced her that Jesus manifests himself in the suffering of the defenceless. As a result, she did not see the pitiable, mentally-ill, child victim of rape or a terminally ill cancer patient as a human being. Instead, they were merely instruments to advertise the presence of Jesus through grotesque suffering. She would do everything to make them suffer. Just as Eichmann awaited glory for his deeds, Teresa too longed to become a saint for having brought terrible suffering upon the voiceless. Like Eichmann, she too never expressed the slightest remorse for what she had done to her victims. Like him, she too was convinced that she helped improve their plight.

Her success, as Hitchens aptly wrote, “is not, therefore, a triumph of humility and simplicity. It is another chapter in a millennial story which stretches back to the superstitious childhood of our species, and which depends on the exploitation of the simple and the humble by the cunning and the single-minded.”

Author’s note: All citations, unless specifically referenced, are from Hitchens’ book cited in the opening paragraph.

Mother Teresa: The Eichmann of Calcutta



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mother teresa

The Indian Christian United Forum (ICUF) has launched a slanderous propaganda in Bangalore asreported by IndiaFacts. It claims that the priest of the Kāḻi temple persecuted Mother Teresa when she founded the Home for the Dying in Calcutta. However, when the priest became diseased, he was shunned by the Hindus. Teresa then cared for him and the Kāḻi priest had a change of heart. In his dying moments he said with folded hands, “For thirty years I have worshipped the Goddess Kali in stone, but today the Goddess Mother stands before me alive.”This is an iconoclastic rejection of Kāḻi as mere “stone” as well as an affirmation of Teresa as the real “Goddess Mother.” Is this a true story or a slanderous propaganda? Let us examine the facts.

At the outset, we are not told two important things: What was the name of this alleged priest? In which year did Teresa care for him? Had the Kāḻi priest really had such a transformation as is alleged, the church and the sympathetic media would’ve had a field day advertising it. They didn’t though. Remember that Teresa was always eager to seek publicity, if necessary, by inventing an outright lie. As the rationalist Sanal Edamaruku points outTeresa lied that she ran a school for 5,000 students in Calcutta whereas no such school ever existed. It is hard to believe that Teresa and her sycophants were unusually publicity-shy on the transformation of the Kāḻi priest.


The story comes in many versions and has every mark of a fabricated myth. In the propagandist pamphletLove: The Words and Inspiration of Mother Teresa, with a foreword by the Bible-thumper Desmond Tutu, the persecuting Kāḻi priest is portrayed as dying of tuberculosis (p. 21). In Joseph Langford’s propaganda,Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire: The Encounter that Changed Her Life and how it can Transform Your Own, the Kāḻi priest and the people of Calcutta are portrayed as the ungrateful persecutors ofthe altruistic Teresa. However, one day, the Kāḻi priest becomes afflicted by leprosy and is dying: “He was put on the street by his own family and shunned as unclean by his fellow priests. As soon as Mother Teresa heard about him, she went looking out for him. She found him and took him in, and began tending to him herself, without a word of reproach (pp. 104-105).”

The Kāḻi priest’s alleged affliction inexplicably changes from tuberculosis to leprosy between these two versions. But the iconoclastic rejection of Kāḻi as mere “stone” as well as an affirmation of Teresa as the real “Goddess Mother” had not yet been invented. Both versions are silent about it. The ICUF adds this colorful detail to complete the slanderous propaganda.

One needn’t have any doubt that the source of this fable is Teresa herself. How can we be sure? The foreword to Langford’s propagandist version was written by Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, director of the Mother Teresa Center, a longtime associate of Teresa,postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization of Teresa, and the Vatican-approved compiler of her letters. Had he not been convinced that the source of the fable is Teresa herself, he wouldn’t have written the approving foreword.

The rationalist Sanal Edamaruku points out, Teresa lied that she ran a school for 5,000 students in Calcutta whereas no such school ever existed.

An incredulous and incorrigible Teresa admirer would deny that Teresa could’ve unscrupulously lied. But she has been caught lying too often. In addition to Sanal Edamaruku’s exposé of her bogus claim we saw earlier, one may list two examples from Aroup Chatterjee’s Mother Teresa – The FinalVerdict, pp. 273-274, 277-278 to prove that Teresa was a repeat offender. In her Nobel acceptance speech, Teresa atrociously claimed that she had taught the beggars of Calcutta the “temperature method” to naturally prevent pregnancies. She claimed that in Calcutta alone, in six years, slum-dwellers and beggars have had 61,273 fewer babies by following the “temperature method” she had taught.

Chatterjee, a medical doctor,thoroughly debunks this claim. This method, even to be moderately successful, requires a woman to maintain a chart of her basal body temperature. Less than 2 per centof female beggars of Calcutta are literate. Isn’t it strange that this illiterate population accurately read the thermometer in English and maintained a chart inside their dilapidated shacks?Who distributed several lakhs of thermometers to them without anybody noticing it?How did Teresa know that her alleged campaign resulted in precisely 61,273 fewer babies in Calcutta?This only shows that Teresa could be precise in her imaginations and audaciously lie in full glare of a sycophantic media.


This figure had doubled itself in eighteen months. In June 1981, while in Washington D.C., Teresa claimed that her “beautiful method” had resulted in 134,000 fewer babies in Calcutta alone. This time she opted for a round number – thereby proving that Teresa was a well-rounded liar. In a 1982 Scottish television interview, Teresa claimed that her methods had resulted in “one million less babies in 10 years in Calcutta.” The number had miraculously grown from 61,273 to 134,000 to one million in just a few months!

In November 1995, Bishop Vincent Consessao had invited Teresa to participate in a protest demanding reservation for Christian Dalits. He had given her a detailed program. Teresa agreed and joined the protest in Delhi. However, due to undisclosed compulsions, she made a volte face. She called for a press meet and denied that she had ever participated in a protest demanding reservation for Dalit Christians. She then claimed that she had thought that she was participating in a prayer session when she sat in protest in Delhi. How convenient!

These examples demonstrate that Teresa was a brazen liar. Therefore, it is no surprise that she unscrupulously lied and fabricated the fable about the Kāḻi priest. But what could’ve been her motive? One must turn to the origins of her Home for the Dying for the answer.

Teresa atrociously claimed that she had taught the beggars of Calcutta the “temperature method” to naturally prevent pregnancies.

Home for the Dying was founded in Calcutta in 1952. Teresa was already quite influential by then and had the backing of the local government, which usurped the pilgrim shelter belonging to the Kāḻi temple and handed it over to Teresa (see Kolodiejchuk, Brian: Mother Teresa – Come Be My Light, The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta,” pp. 144-145). How does one deflect attention from this illegal property-grab by a well-connected, cunning missionary? Teresa instinctively knew how: by falsely portraying the Kāḻi priests as the persecutors arrayed against an altruistic missionary.

There is another reason too: Kāḻi herself. No other deity invokes revulsion in the Christian mind as much as Kāḻi does. She is repeatedly reviled as the “goddess of death and destruction” in Christian writings. Even today, American school textbooks denigrate her as “bloodthirsty.” In Langford’s book, cited earlier, she is called an “evil goddess who devours her husbands – for whom the legend suggests the city was named.” Even the unpleasant heat and humidity of Calcutta is blamed on Kāḻi’s “hot breath (p. 27).” Teresa implicitly called Kāḻi “the devil” and vowed to liberate the people of Calcutta who were allegedly “soiled with sin” from the devil’s clutches. (videher letter cf. pp. 49 and51 of Kolodiejchuk’s book).

What invokes thisirrational fear and revulsion though? Kāḻi is the antithesis of the Christian idea of god.The Christian god is male and misogynistic. Christianity teaches a woman to blindly obey. It doesn’t have the notion of the sacred feminine. Its view of feminine sexuality is negative. Even the Virgin Mary had to be stripped of her sexuality to be made into a mere intercessor. In contrast, Kāḻi is independent, assertive, and at ease with her sexuality. She could deal with evil men – if necessary by force. She represents every facet of the divine feminine: a comforting and kind mother in times of peace and a warrior archetype that could rise to the occasion when the evil threatens peace.


Christians couldn’t relate to this idea of the empowerment of women. Women didn’t enjoy much freedom in the Christian West until a few decades ago. So, Christian westerners found the feminine empowerment that Kāḻi signified threatening. So did Teresa, who had always been submissive to authority. She was once accused of indulging in a prolonged and intimate sexual liaison with a powerful Catholic priest. The church authorities thought she was guilty (see pp. 55 and 63 of Kolodiejchuk’s book). They transferred her to Asansol in West Bengal as punishment; the male priest wasn’t punished. Teresa faced daily humiliation when her superiors closely monitored even the personal letters she wrote. She was denied even a modicum of freedom.No reasonable or independent woman would’ve tolerated such abuse of her freedom and honor. Teresa, on the other hand, willingly submitted to misogyny by resorting to the typical missionary position.

So, it is no wonder that she was threatened by the independent and empowering Kāḻi. In Teresa’s jaundiced worldview, Kāḻi had to be reviled. She was. Calcutta, its Hindu residents, and the priests of Kāḻi too were guilty by association. Calcutta – because it derived its name from Kāḻi; its Hindus and Kāḻi priests – because they worshipped Kāḻi. One could falsely implicate them without feeling the slightest remorse.

That is how this slanderous propaganda came into existence. It would be one of many lies the presumably virgin Teresa gave birth to.Western Christians lapped up this false propaganda with relish and amplified it by their vivid imaginations. The black-skinned Kāḻi could only be the devil when seen through their racist prism. After all, in Christian iconography, Jesus had always been a Caucasian male. How could the divine be a dark-skinned, assertive female? They were only too happy that one of their own, a white Teresa, was rescuing the heathens from the clutches of the devilish Kāḻi.

No other deity invokes revulsion in the Christian mind as much as Kāḻi does.

One cannot rewrite the past. One can only learn lessons from it to create a harmonious future. India’s Christians have a moral reckoning to do. Christians arrived in Kerala from Syria sometime in the 6th century as refugees and traders. Hindus not only accommodated them but also allowed them to flourish as a community. No attempt was made to convert them to Hinduism. Instead Hindu kings gave them grants to preserve their religious practices. That is how the Syrian Christian Church came into existence. India’s Christians have two choices in front of them. They could either continue to glorify an unscrupulous, lying, cunning missionary who slandered the Hindus and their Gods, and continue to spread the lies she invented or reciprocate 1,400 years of Hindu hospitality by rejecting demagogues like Teresa.I hope reasonable Indian Christians would reject Teresa and her vicious demagoguery.

An exposé of Mother Teresa’s deceptions and demagoguery

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